Monday, October 08, 2007

12 Questions

"If you run, you might lose. If you don't run, you're guaranteed to lose." - Jesse Jackson

Stolen Borrowed from Melissa:

There are twelve random questions about writing below. Ready to play?

What's Your Writing Style?

1. Are you a "pantser" or a "plotter?"

Both, to a certain extent... but if I was forced to choose one, I'd say "pantser". I take time for character profiles, and will brainstorm scene possibilities and play "what if" for a while before I write. So, although I don't have an outline or synopsis, I have a general idea of what I want to write.

2. Detailed character sketches or "their character will be revealed to me as a I write"?

Both, again. GAH! I know it sounds like a cop-out, but though I do a character profile ahead of time the fact is I don't get to know some of my character's secrets until after I start to write. Sometimes, they're big secrets!

3. Do you know your characters' goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing?

If I say "both" are you going to smack me? This is *sort of* the same question as above. I don't start writing until I have at least the germ of an idea for my character's goals and motivations -- but I never know them all! They let me know stuff about them as time progresses.

4. Books on plotting - useful or harmful?

Helpful -- as long as you remember to take what you like and remember it's not the BIBLE OF WRITING. You won't go to hell if you ignore some of the advice within.

5. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?

Both. When I'm on a tear, all I want to do is write. When I have specific goals, I never want to step away from the story. But if I get out of the habit, or lose sight of my goals, it will be days, weeks or even months before I write.

6. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?

Both! LOL... I write when I can. Last year, during NaNo, my mom would take the DD for a craft day and hours stretched before me. I found I simply could not write the entire time. But, I do like having a few hours to get settled, get my brain in the right place and go. Still, if I only have thirty minutes, I can use those, too.

7. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?

Both (yes, really). I prefer to do the hard stuff in the morning, because I get up before everyone else and won't be interrupted. But, the easier stuff or the busy work of character profiling or "what-iffing" for scene cards I can do all the time.

8. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?

Finally, one I won't say "both" to! I like silence. Folks always talk about the soundtrack of their story... If I tried to write with music, I'd end up typing the lyrics. Give me complete silence, if possible.

9. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)

Both. Yes, really!! I write differently on the computer than I do in longhand. Longhand is oddly freeing, as if it's not permanent because it's not on the hard drive. I can't easily go back and edit longhand, so I don't bother. It's closer to stream of consciousness writing, and I use it when I'm struggling. It's as if it uses a different part of my brain.

That said, I do most of my writing on the computer.

10. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One?

Before chapter one? Not always... but by the time I've written the first three or four chapters? Absolutely. In fact, I typically go ahead and write the last chapter at the point. And, to be honest, that original chapter (in its edited form) has been the one I've always used in the final product. I love endings. It's beginnings I hate.

11. Does what's selling in the market influence how and what you write?

Not anymore. I used to be so focused on finding a "big name" home for my stuff that I would try to write to a formula. You know what? No matter how hard I tried, my stories and novels would mutate halfway through into the kind of writing I do. Regardless. So, now I've decided to write first. Would I like to have a book released from Kensington or Harlequin or NAL? You betcha! And, if I happen to write a book I think will fit one of their lines, I'll give it a go. Until then... "I yam what I yam".

12. Editing - love it or hate it?

Hate it. HATE it. If I could write the first draft and never see it again after that I'd be happy. Unfortunately, editing is a necessary evil. And I do okay with it. But there comes a time when I am truly sick of my own work and never want to see it again. That's frustrating.

Hey, I got the next question up for my website contest. Go enter! And, while you're there, check out the Daily Fun page for a commercial that made my husband chuckle.

And, HEY! We're giving away FOUR free books this week at LASR. Two free eBooks from our Spotlight author, Sarita Leone and two free print novels for our weekly giveaway. What are you waiting for? Go enter!


From Melissa's blog (thanks!):

Your Sloth Quotient: 39%

You're a little lazy, but normally you're a very energetic and motivated person.
Don't beat yourself up over a little laziness every now and then. You do need your downtime!


Ceri said...

I had to borrow your plotter or panster for my blog. Hope you don't mind.

Now I have to get ready for work. Wish I could call in sick. The kids are off school today (as they were on Friday). Lucky children.

Have a great day!

groovyoldlady said...

What the heck is a "panster"? It sounds like a new fashion item.

Hey Marianne, back at ya! I have an award for you on MY blog!

Sarita Leone said...

Love the 12 questions! It's always interesting to see how other authors write, isn't it? I smiled, and nodded, a few times because we have some similar habits. Especially the am writing! :)

Tori Lennox said...

I'm not going to smack you for all those "both" answers. Mainly because we're twins and I'd be doing the same thing. :)

anno said...

I hate making choices: "both" seemed like a very reasonable response for just about all of the questions.

For the record, I am 48% slothful.

Melissa said...

I'm a Both person too. A lot of your answers would be mine, too!

And you're more of a sloth than me, but not by much!!!!

Dru said...

I'm not a writer, but I do write reports and analysis and I like editing more than I like writing the reports.

I don't like using outlines when I have to write my reports, I prefer to look at the data and then write the analysis which normally takes me 2-3 days because I always manage to stop and take a break to clear my head.

My best report writing is in the morning when it's quiet and no one else is in the office yet.

Avery Gray said...

Okay, I'm just going to copy and paste your writing style questions and answers into my own blog because they are ALL the same!! Except, of course, about writing the ending. Haven't gotten to that point yet. Oh, but what a sweet day it will be!!

Jen said...

LOL, Marianne, we could be writing twins, except for 9 (I'm kinda dysgraphic and do MUCH better with a keyboard) and 10 - sometimes my ending keeps changing, although I have the basic idea by chapter 3 and 4.

Happy Writing!

Diane Craver said...

I always like to read how other authors approach their writing. My books are character driven so I'm like you and more of a "pantser". I know the ending but don't write it ahead of the other chapters. I think that's interesting you do!