Last Friday I mentioned wanting to do some more personal posts about how I started writing, my history with reading and so on, and today is the day I’m starting this series of posts! Last week fellow writing friend K. J. Chapman tagged me with the Confessions of a Writer Tag, and it’s the perfect start for this.
The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.
Rules of the Tag:
- Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
- Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
- Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!
The Questions and My Answers:
1.When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
I can’t remember the moment or day I decided I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t always want to pursue it as a career. Although I have (and please excuse the cheesy, overdone sentiment) always written. When I was seven years old my Mum sometimes took me to work with her when my grandma couldn’t babysit me, and most of the day I spent writing short stories about just about anything. My favourite was about a little girl who was sitting atop a hill overlooking the village she lived in. It was night time and all the lights in the houses and streets were lit. I enjoyed doing that but it’s not what made up my mind.
When I was a teenager I kept starting stories which I wanted to turn into books, but none of them ever made it past page five I don’t think. Then when I started college (aged 18) I suddenly decided I wanted to try again. I had this old idea I started years ago and I started working on that. It was terrible and I want to apologise to the agents I sent it to. Honestly, I’m so, so sorry.
After that I went to university and didn’t write much at all for three years besides essays. I started something but I didn’t have the time to really get into it. Then this year it suddenly hit me that I finished uni a year ago, and I decided to pick up my idea again. That’s what I’m writing on now.
So I guess the short answer is I wanted to take it seriously before in college, failed miserably, and then came back to it this year some time around May! 🙂
2. What genre do you write?
I usually write what I read, which is fantasy and fiction, but that’s not to say I won’t try other genres at some point. I’ve tried some sci-fi before in my 10Minute shorts I do every Monday and wouldn’t mind giving that a go! I love sci-fi and am dying to meet some aliens, like, now, so you’d think it’d be a perfect fit!
3. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
At the moment I’m working on my first fasntasy novel Rise of the Sparrows, which will be the first book in a trilogy called Relics of Ar’Zac. I finished the first draft nearly a month ago so that’s currently resting, but next week Monday I’ll start editing. This is the blurb as it currently stands:
“Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, a homeless orphan with the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious witch woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person to stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the King to become Queen to a people who once wanted her dead may well be the only way to do just that.”
I’ve also got another couple of ideas in my head which I may have to explore a little further… But more on those if anything more happens 🙂
4. What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
I actually can’t remember! There’s one I remember writing in my Mum’s office and I think it was the first I wrote there, but I don’t think it was the first thing I ever wrote.
It was about a girl who went to the zoo for her birthday, and she saw loads of awesome animals. Her favourite was the lion. It was half an A4 page long and printed in a rather large font, with a picture of a lion taking up the other half.
5. What’s the best part about writing?
There are so many best parts! I love getting to know my characters, I love when new characters I hadn’t planned surprise me, I love the promise of a brand-new idea and all its potential, I love the feedback from readers and interacting with them on social media or here. There are so many good points I can’t settle on just the one. I know a lot of people hate being stuck and not knowing what comes next, but I actually love plot bunnies because they give my characters a chance to be more vocal and take the lead!
6. What’s the worst part about writing?
Right now I’m not liking this resting period my draft is going through. It’s hard not to just start editing and give it the break it needs. I actually asked my boyfriend to hide the draft I printed the day I finished it, and so far neither of us can find it. It helps, but it makes it worse, too and I’m counting down the days until I can start! (six more days, just six more days…)
7. What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)
Again, it’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll go with Cara from the Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. She’s a woman who stops at nothing to get what she wants or to protect the people she loves. She’s driven, dedicated, dangerous and I absolutely love her.
8. How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
Since I work part-time in a library my writing time is limited. Usually I write for (roughly) an hour in the mornings – never at weekends, because people should get weekends – which means I write around 3,000 words, sometimes more sometimes fewer. Often I write for longer than that, say an hour and twenty minutes when the words are flowing particularly well, and sometimes it’s a a struggle to make forty-five minutes.
9. Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?
I did go to uni but not to study writing. I actually studied Photography and had to put my writing on hold while I did my degree. Studying Photography was great and I wish I had more time/ideas for it now but my books take priority. One day I might go back to uni to study Psychology (when I first applied it was between Photography and Psychology, and a small part of me always regretted my decision) or to do a Masters Degree in Visual Communications, but I won’t start thinking about that until this trilogy is done.
10. What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?
I don’t come across grammar errors so often, but spelling and punctuation errors give me the mother of all headaches! It’s hard to read something with no punctuation, and reading anything with poor spelling makes my eyes bleed so they both take the lead.
11. What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Keep writing. When your writing does badly you write again. When your writing does well you write again. Either way, write again.
12. What advice would you give to another writer?
Just write. Don’t complain about not being inspired enough or about hitting a wall – keep trying every day and the words will come.
13. What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
There is no one side I use, but there are some I subscribed to which deliver great advice often. writeonsisters and thewritepractice post often and it’s always great stuff, so I recommend checking them out if you haven’t already!
14. Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
Besides writing I’m a huge gamer, and am already excited about all those amazing games coming out next year! I can quite happily play a weekend away, and have done just that many times. There’s no real favourite genre though since I’ve played a bit of everything. Pokemon, Fable, The Witcher, Mass Effect, Animal Crossing – I’ve played my way through nearly every genre there is! Nothing can compete with Mass Effect, though. It has broken me many times and I’m happy for it to break me again. (it also has amazing writing so it wins on two sides!)
15. What is the best book you’ve read this year?
Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Review to follow 🙂
16. What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
We don’t go to the cinema that often so I don’t have a huge amount to chose from, but we saw The Martian a little while ago and that was soooo good! Earlier this year we saw Age of Ultron which was amazing, and in a few weeks time we’ll see the last of the Hunger Games movies. I’ve read all the books so I know what I’m in for – part of me is reluctant, the other part is very, very excited.
17. What is your favorite book or series of all time?
That’s not fair, there are so many! I don’t think I can pick, sorry!
18. Who is your favorite author?
I apologise if you’ve followed my blog for long enough to have heard this several times already. You’re probably sick and bored of it by now.
My favourite authors are Karen Miller and Terry Goodkind, plus I’m a Harry Potter geek so J.K. Rowlings has to be in there. Honestly, there are more authors I love reading, but it’s hard to pick just a few instead of giving you a long list. You’ve got better things to do with your day than read through that! Keep an eye on my reviews section if you want to know what I love reading.
19. What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
Right now my draft is resting but I’m starting the edit on Monday (only six days to go… have I mentioned that?) , so I’ll be busy with that! Also I’m planning a series of short posts to introduce all of my main characters to you all, and then there’s this other idea that’s been floating in my head… But let’s not go into that right now 😉
20. Where else can we find you online?
My Tags (feel free not to take part if you’d rather not, there’s no obligation 🙂 )
Thank you so much for reading! If there’s anything else you’d like to know please don’t hesitate to ask.