Sunday, 3 January 2010

A Question

So, this isn't directly book related, but I have a few questions that have been bugging me for the past day or so. Call this a slight abuse of power?

In the past month or so I've really put myself into the blogging community (as much as a shy girl with no real connections can). While doing so, I've noticed quite a few bloggers are also writers. And bloggers are also writers sometimes. These questions are really for you writers.

1] How do you know which story is the story? I know I get bit by the writing bug all the time (actually, my muse is a blue penguin named SteveBobMcGuire and he's kind of a crack addict, but not the point) and usually I just pick the story that seems most interesting or the easiest for me to do if I'm short on time. I also have a lot of fantasies I play out in my head, sometimes for hours at a time when I don't feel like getting out of bed. But I never write these down. So, how do you know which one is right?

2] How do you write best? Heavily outlined or on the fly? Notebook or Computer? Combinations? I'm a combining girl myself, though a lot of the time when I outline, I jump off pretty quickly.

3] Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a muse? (i.e. SteveBobMcGuire)

I think that's it for now. If I come up with more questions, I'll ask them later.



  1. I'm so glad you posted this! I actually just started a new meme today for book bloggers who are also writers...I thought I'd be selfish and look for others like myself! So, in answer to your questions...

    1. To be honest, I carry a notebook with me at all times. Sometimes ideas pop into my head and, while I'm not sure if they are THE idea, they are nevertheless important. Having finished a full novel and started submitting, I can say that I knew that was THE story, simply because the characters, the names, the emotions, they just wouldn't leave me alone.

    2. I generally start a WIP with little to no planning - at least that's how I wrote the first full novel. The new WIP has a bit of an outline, but it's rough. I don't write a book in order. I wrote the end before I ever figured out the beginning. So, I usually start from a few lines in a notebook to making a massive file on my computer. I guess a combo of both.

    3. Inspiration comes from everything around me. My MC is my completed novel is based heavily on my personal character traits. The setting is a place I've loved my whole life. What truly inspires me though is turning off all the lights and blasting music. Sometimes music writes the stories before I ever can.

    Hope this helps! :)

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  3. Yay, fellow writer! For answers -

    1. My brain is a sieve so any story that ends up being *the* story sticks, which is saying something huge. I have two complete novels written with two waiting in the wings and one kick ass idea simmering. These 5 are *the* stories for me. They've ground their way into my brain and they will be written.

    2. First drafts are always shot from the hip. I've never been an outliner. My goal when writing is just to get the story down without looking back. Looking back causes stress because you start to edit as you write and that just doesn't work for me. I write everything down from beginning to end and iron out the wrinkles when I edit the eleventy billion times that writing a novel from the hip requires.

    I'm also very much a manual writer. First draft is written my pen and paper. it's one son of a bitch to type into Word but I do it. Then to edit, the entire manuscript gets printed out and edited with one of many multi-colored glitter pens I have. Everything's handwritten and then the edits are typed into Word. Entire manuscript is printed again ad nauseum until the process is done. I don't do any actual writing on a computer (without counting blogs, of course).

    3. You know, I don't have a muse, not any one thing anyway. I'm inspired by everything. But it's usually the little things that get me going. WIP 1 came about because I was trying to think of something to write for a horror magazine. I pictured a Roladex in my head and started flipping through ideas until I came to one - "A father was pulling his daughter out to a hill by her hair." I looked at that and went interesting. Why was he doing that? "Because he was being collected." Why? "Because she can cry diamonds." Well that's interesting. Especially considering I'd never even considered the thought of writing fantasy prior to that, and I was looking for something horror. The idea mutated and I got WIP1. It needs a total enema but that's besides the point.

    WIP2, which is the one I'm banking on for an agent, came out of the clear blue. I had this image of a sapling in my head that just sprouted into a huge sequoia. Then it cracked open and BAM! Portal.

    WIP3 is based on a character that made a cameo in a fanfic I wrote. She was such a strong presence that she needed her own space to move around and she's totally taking advantage of it.

    WIP4 is inspired by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and falls along the lines of the Goosebumps type of series but it's a mix of horror and fantasy. Short of the long, ghouls and werewolves do occupy high positions at city hall and there's a whole slew of things living under the boardwalk.

    WIP5 came from a dream. Mind I can count on one hand with fingers to spare the number of times I've been inspired to write a story from a dream. But this one just kicked such awesome ass that I couldn't let it go. And I can't wait to write it.

  4. Great questions, Julie!

    1. When a character and a setting invade my brain and excite me to the point I can barely sleep, that's when I know I have found THE STORY. I can't write a book unless it has both of these elements. A great character isn't enough without a setting, and a great setting isn't enough without a character. I'm picky that way. :)

    2. It depends on the genre. For example, I'm writing kind of a paranormal mystery right now, and I have to outline that one. I also have a WIP that's very character driven, so I'm just letting my MCs play and waiting to see what happens. :) I'm not real into structure unless I have to be lol.

    3. At the risk of sounding like Stephenie Meyer, I get a lot of ideas from dreams. Also the news, fairy tales/mythology, conversations with friends and family, and "what if" questions that I am constantly asking myself (don't ask me why - it's just how my brain works.)

  5. 1) I'm one of those writers that doesn't have a lot of novel ideas so I just pick the idea that I do have. Or the one that calls to me and I can't stop thinking about

    2)I can't outline AT ALL. I never write down anything. I wing it for writing.

    3)I get my inspiration from...reading other books, listening to music, and looking at pictures.

  6. 1. I get different ideas all of the time. Usually, though, I don't dive right in. I'll write the idea or opening sentence or whatever on an envelope or a post it or in one of my notebooks and leave it there until I have time to come back to it. Sometimes I'll write a couple of paragraphs about it, too.

    2. Usually, I dive right into whatever I'm writing, and get in the first couple of pages before I start plotting. THen I use an excel spreadsheet to outline all of the scenes I want to write, and think some mroe about the characters, and keep writing. The only thing is, my ideas about what should happen in the story evolve while I'm writing, so oftentimes I sharply diverge from my plan. I always kind of know where I'm going when I start, though, and about how long it's going to be. If I don't know how something's going to end, I try to do some less formal plotting before I start writing. Whether I write on the computer or on paper usually depends on where I am, what mood I'm in, whether my computer's working ,etc. I find writing on paper less distracting, since I can't go on the internet as easily at the same time.

    3.I don't really know. I just kind of get ideas. I find that if I show up at my computer or my notebook with the intent to write, something will occur to me to write about, or if I get really stuck I'll take a walk. A lot of ideas just come to me while I'm walking.

    Oh dear. I hope that wasn't too long.



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