Emily @ For the Bookish nominated me for the Wisteria Writer Tag...
And I am FINALLY getting around to it :) Big thanks to you, Emily! <3 If you don't know Emily, you should totally go visit her blog because it's super awesome!
So let me lay down the rules here:
When did you start writing?
I was eight years old. My first 'novel' was a bout a boy and a magic rose and it was really awful. I even set up a LuLu.com account to self publish it... So glad I was slow at typing and got too tired of copying it into the computer from my notebook! Hehe! (Learn more about my writing journey in this post.)
What do you use to document inspiration and ideas?
Pinterest! Seriously, it's my favorite writerly tool! I have writer boards all over my profile and they are such a blast :) (Find my profile, here.) I also have stacks and stacks of binders and journals... I have an addiction to journals and am constantly looking for a reason to start a new one :)
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The part where I am done! ;P Having a complete novel is so satisfying! I love reading back over my book now that I'm finished and just fangirling over my work... it's seriously the best!
What genres do you like writing best?
That's a tough one. I really love writing dystopian, but I haven't done much in that area. I'd say contemporary, even though I used to HATE writing contemporary!
How do you begin the outlining of your novels? (Characters, plot, etc.)?
I'm not super fancy in how I outline. I basically just set up a section for the novel in my current binder and fill it with pages that I type up and print.
I create a page for each character and fill out a character questionnaire about them. I highly recommend those! They really help with getting into each character's head and making them more realistic.
I then use a few pages to sum up the beginning, middle, and end of the story. However, chances are, the end is blank. I almost never know the end of the story until I get there!
I also make sure to include pages with any research notes I may need. Once, I wrote about a girl with a heart defect and I had to do a TON of research on it, so I copied and pasted the information I found helpful from other sites and then printed it. I also made note of helpful links to revisit on that page.
As I go, I come up with great scene ideas, so I usually jot those down and slide them in my binder, too.
I also set up a board for the novel on Pinterest and fill it with prompts and photos that inspire me :)
Can you share a snippet of one of your current pieces of writing?
Sure, why not?! Here is piece from my novel C.B.M (I'm not sharing the title yet) which is currently visiting agents :)
“Two Moose Tracks, please,” Dad told the girl at the counter.
We were both wearing our pajamas and it was thirty minutes past midnight. Thankfully, the ice cream place was dead so the only eyes there to stare at us were those that belonged to the two employees behind the counter.
We always went to that little place for ice cream. It was themed in a Tiffany blue with black accents here and there, kind of like a cute diner, I guess.
The girl handed me a waffle cone overflowing with my favorite dessert, which kinda lifted my spirits. The familiar first lick pinched a little, like sandpaper.
Dad touched my arm. “I see you’re enjoying that.”
I looked over to find him smiling at me in a way that made him seem old. His wrinkles were obvious and his blue eyes were dim.
Ignoring him, I fixed my gaze forward and took another lick.
“So how was your first week of school? We haven’t really talked about it much.”
He nodded, took a bite, and swallowed. That was how Dad did it. He never licked and enjoyed, he always took big bites.
“Did you make any new friends?”
“You’ve got plenty of time; but how is photography going?”
I refused to meet his eyes and focused my stare on a little chunk of chocolate that was peeking out of my ice cream. “It’s all beginners’ stuff. Nothing I didn’t already know,” I said with an attitude, even though photography was my favorite part of each day.
Instead of taking it as an insult as I had hoped he would, he smiled and nudged my side with his elbow. “That’s my girl. Too smart for her class.” Bite, swallow. “But I’m sure things will get a little more challenging soon. It is only the first week after all.”
I didn’t say anything and continued licking. Goosebumps were starting to rise on my arms at the chill of my ice cream.
“So, you said you knew Emily Mills. She’s a nice girl.”
Just the mention of her name alone made me frown with guilt. She was in several of my classes and she was one of Dad’s patients at the clinic. Basically, I avoided her at all costs, but I felt guilty doing it.
“What’s wrong with her?” I asked him.
Dad glanced over at me, then looked back at his almost empty cone. “She was born with Spina Bifida and she’s been in a wheelchair her whole life. But it’s not really any of your business so don’t go around telling people. If she wants people to know, she can tell them herself.”
“Who would I tell?”
It was quiet for a minute, then he started a new conversation, with a little bit of anger lingering in his voice. “Have you talked to anyone from school last year?”
“A couple people,” I said, just to make him curious, even though I avoid them, too.
I just shrugged and kept licking.
“Justin Cooper?” Dad asked, his eyes like flames.
“We talked during summer a little bit,” I said. I didn’t want him to think I cared about all that anymore. I wanted him to think the past was behind me. But it wasn’t.
“Amber, I thought I told you—”
“Dad,” I interrupted, my voice sharpening, “he’s just some stupid boy. I don’t care a thing about him. It’s you who seems to mind.”
He took a deep breath and gritted his teeth. The conversation was over. For now.
Dad took the last bite of his cone and began scratching at the counter. “Your mom called today before we got home. She left a message for you.”
“You can call her back tomorrow morning.”
“Dad, I don’t want to go.”
“I’ve already tried, Amber. Believe me, I have,” he said. His voice was soft and the tension that was there a moment ago, was gone. “Maybe you should just tell her you don’t like Rick and you don’t want to spend Christmas there.”
I shook my head and took another lick. “I can’t do that.”
“Since when did you have troubles speaking your mind?”
I glared at him from the corners of my eyes.
My ice cream was gone now and all that was left was the waffle cone. I slid off the barstool and started walking towards the door as I chewed angrily.
“I’ll eat this in the car.”
What authors or books inspire you?
Rachel Coker was first published at 16; I love her, and her books!
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is also a huge inspiration to me. I LOVE the writing style, story, and characters, so much! I've read it three times :)
Who do you trust to edit/critique your writing?
*Squirms* No one. But I make myself do it, and I am always so glad that I do! I am not very confident when it comes to my creativity, so sharing my work (photos, art, writing...) is very hard for me. But I have learned that the more I share, the more inspired I become. I have been given lots of encouragement by my beta readers and editors, as well as constructive criticism. It has really blossomed my novel into the very best it can be!
Where do you hope to be as a writer in ten years?
I hope that in ten years I have at least two books published, and perhaps some poetry. I want to see my talent grow and watch it do whatever Christ has planned for it!
What advice do you have for other writers?
Don't be discouraged. As writers, we can easily get discouraged at so much. How slow the process is going, how many rejections we get from agents and publishers, how our novel just doesn't sound right compared to (fill in that title you compare your work to)...
There is always something that can be done. Improvement can always be made. It might be hard, but I promise, it isn't impossible.
Even bigger advice: just make sure you are where God wants you with your skills and gifts and talents, and He'll make sure it all happens the way that it needs to. Remember: HE is writing YOUR story--the story of your life, and He is the perfect author. It will all play out in a perfect way... so why worry?
My Questions to You: