I’ve completed seven blog posts for National Blog Posting Month, and around 9500 words for National Novel Writing Month. Yes, yes … I am a tad behind, but I’ll catch up. I have faith.
With all of the “writer talk” sweeping the blogosphere, what better month than November to share this “What and How I Write” meme I scraped from fellow freelance writer and Calabrian resident Michelle, of Bleeding Espresso.
1. Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both?
Growing up I preferred fiction. I thought non-fiction aka the facts would get dull. Boy, was I wrong. While I do enjoy the creative rush of molding characters and making them do daring deeds (insert evil laugh here) I also enjoy non-fiction.
2. Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook?
Yes. And yes. I probably have no less than a dozen journals from the last decade where I journaled travels, wrote poetry, brainstormed ideas and started a novel. I also keep a writer’s notebook that I carry with me in case I see something worth noting – which I usually do. Speaking of … that one is almost used up.
3. If you write fiction, do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something you discover only after you start writing? Do you find books on plotting useful or harmful?
I’ve done it both ways.
I’ve starting writing as a brainstorming, free-writing activity that led into characters and plot. I’ve also started with an outline of where I want the story to go and written from there.
Although the experts say a strong outline is helpful, I always find my characters through the writing process and usually alter or abandon the outline at some point.
4. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?
5. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?
Although it is no doubt a mental thing, I need hours of time to be productive. If I know I only have limited time – 30 minutes to one hour, for example – I have a hard time getting focused. I prefer to get lost in my writing without the threat of an interruption or another responsibility dangling over me.
6. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?
I’d love to jump out of bed and instantly start my writing day, however, with a bed and breakfast to run it isn’t that simple. I can find energy at almost any given point of the day. Other factors, such as if I am hungry, how much coffee I’ve had and outside responsibilities affect my writing more than the time of day.
7. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?
Unless the music I am listening to is directly connected with the topic I’m writing about, I need silence. Even other people moving around the house can distract my train of thought.
8. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)
If I’m traveling I write longhand, otherwise it is my computer. Literally, my computer – I don’t like to use my husband’s. He has that weird Italian keyboard so I end up with oddly placed ? and ò symbols splattered throughout my documents.
9. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write?
I don’t even know how this meme is going to end.
10. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. If a book is hot, other writers are already working on something similiar. There is always room for something different or a new angle in the market. That’s what I focus on.
11. Editing/Revision – love it or hate it?
LOVE it. I usually edit my work a minimum of eight times before I send it in. I edit 2-3 times on the screen, 3-4 revisions of a printed document then finish up with a couple more edits on the screen. I also always wait at least one day between when I finish an article and when I send it in. Something about being too close to the forest …
I’m also one of those rare writers who loves other people to edit my work. Assuming they are good editors, a few tweaks here and there can have your work shining. And I like that.
If you write I’d love to know more about your process, as well. Either do the meme – and let me know about it – or choose one of the above questions and answer it in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.