Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Title and Survey

Hello all! I am in the process of changing my blog title. Any suggestions? In the mean time, I did a NaNoWriMo survey for fun. I participating and Camp NaNo this year. What age range are you? (Elementary, teens, 20's, etc) Teen

- Male or female? Female

- Country and/or Ethnicity (if you are comfortable telling this)? United States

- What number of years have you participated in Nanowrimo? This will be my fourth year

- Do you write books outside of Nanowrimo? I do. NaNo is an extra challenge for me and I always find it fun.

- Did you write before you participated in your first Nanowrimo? Yes, I had novels and short stories before my first NaNo.

- How long have you been writing fiction for? And if before Nanowrimo, what forms? (Poetry, short stories etc) I co-wrote my first novel at eleven and everything took off from there.

- Are you published officially (Large magazine, non-local) and books (non-self-published/POD)? You are allowed to do a modest plug here for published novels. =D No, not yet.

- What genre(s) do you usually write? Fantasy and other types of fiction I am unable to put into a gnere for some reason.

- What genre did you write for Nanowrimo? Fantasy and slightly more 'realistic' fiction.

- Do you treat your characters as real? Yes, I do. I write best that way.

- Are you an Improviser/Discovery Writer, a Milestone writer (set out certain important events to hit without the detail) or an Outliner? I am a Milestone writer, but I do have an outline I can look to if I need it.

- Do you believe in plot-driven, character-driven or story-driven? Story-driven. My characters and style differ from story to story and are therefore quite important. I believe a good novelist knows how to use all the tools given to him/her. I believe stories should be, well, story-driven.

- In what direction do you write? Forwards, backwards, skip around or mixed? I usually write forwards with a bit of skipping around from sceens I am bored with/inspired for.

- Do you determine the ending first, later, or when you get there? I usually know how a novel will end toward the middle.

- What do you feel is your weakest and strongest point in writing? My weakest points are spelling and just knowing how to be conscice. It does depend on the character voice, but I often sprawl all over the page without realizing it. My strongest point in writing is probably character voice. I can change my style and word-usage for any given character so long as I know what they are like and what suits them best. This may have to do with my background in theatre.

- What are you best and weakest at: beginnings, middles, endings? Beginings. I usually see those most clearly because that's often where the idea forms.

- What materials/programs do you like to use when writing? Miscrosoft Word and sometimes Write Or Die or Writen? Kitten! depending on my mood.

- How many writing project do you have at one time? Usually one, but I am able to deal with two, but no more unless they are in different stages of the writing process, such as editing, etc.

- Where do you get your ideas? (The dreaded question writers frequently get.) Life, inspiration from other books, dreams. It varies.

- Why do you write? (The other frequently asked question to writers) Why? Because I like it, that's why, and because if I didn't, my head would certainly explode from all the pent up creativity. :D

- Do you research? If so when? before, during or after? If so, how much time will you spend on it? It varies. I spent an entire year researching Chinese and Indian culture for one novel. For another, I researched nothing beforehand and did internet and book searches on the side if I had questions. It depends on the book and the type of research being done.

- Do you use primary, secondary or third-hand research? or mixed? If so, how much and how do you do it? (i.e. books, internet, interviews, etc.) I use books, internet, and people.

- Are you a hobbyist, or doing this for publication? Or in the crowd of if you get an edited book that you'll try to publish it? Would you like a career as an author? Everyone wants to get paid to do what they loove, so yes, becoming an author is the dream. I'd say 'goal' but it's not something I can acheive on my own what with agents and publishers involved in the process. My goal is to finish a novel I am proud of, and that's always the goal. I cannot write for publication- when it comes to fiction- simply because I want to avoid writing to please other people. I don't write to please people- that's what editing is for. At the same time, I don't believe writing should be done lightly in my case, so publication is, in the end, what I do this for. - Would you publish your Nanowrimo for this year if you got it cleaned up? I would, but not yet. It is actually a companion to another novel I'm writing.

- What books do you read inside of your genre? I read everything in the world of fiction, as well as some books on psychology as well as autobiographies.

- What _L_iterature (Call them classics, if you like) have you read and enjoyed and disliked (outside of classes, or at least list which ones with classes)? Include author please. A Seperate Peace by Knowles, Pride and Prefudice by Jane Austen. Too many to name.

- Would you have written this novel without Nanowrimo? Yes, but the start would have taken much longer did I not have a push.

- What have you learned from Nanowrimo (so Far)? I have learned that I write some crazy stuff. And that people will probably be afraid of me. Yup. In terms of writing? Self-discipline is a must.

- Has writing a novel changed how you view authors and read novels? Oh yes. I have a bigger appreciation for books now, of any kind. Writing a novel in itself is a difficult task. I also judge writers more harshly on style, voice, plot, etc. I have a better understanding of how these things are done. Or not done.

- If you were at a book signing and a person said to you, "Hey! I have a great idea for a book--you write it, edit it and all of that and then we go 50/50 on the profits. So what do you think?" What would you say to that person? (This does happen.) I think we need to adjust the work ratio, my friend.

-How would you kill someone with a peach? Could I beat them with it? Suffocation, I think.

Well that was fun.. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smiley Words?

I finished reading a novel that was pretty good, but it would have been better had it not annoyed me so many times. The problem? This appears multiple times:

"Don't worry," he smiled.

First, let me stress to you that I do not claim to be an expert in any field, grammar in particular. However, I do know that people cannot smile words. You can try, but nothing will come out. You can smile while saying words, but you cannot smile words. At least, as far as I know.

There are so many other ways to write this. 'He smiled. "Don't worry." "Don't worry," he said, smiling.' The list goes on.

I'm not sure why this bothered me so much when there are so many other things to focus on. I think that was the problem, though- little things like this make it much harder to enjoy the story.

Just my two cents. :)