Writers are weird creatures.
Commonly known for their coffee-and-word addiction, they have been rumoured to spend their days in dark caves, coming out only on the night of the full moon, to drink the blood of their enemies and battle amongst themselves over the possession of the world.
That image, incidentally, is also delusional.
Because I don’t live in a cave (although I imagine it would provide much bookshelf-space) and maybe there’s a few people I could name with a passion for world-theft, but also, NO. AND WHY DO WRITERS NEED TO BE COFFEE-OBSESSED???
Because I would actually have the honour of calling myself a WRITER if the coffee didn’t come along as an inbuilt part of the definition. It’s slightly sad. BUT ITS FINE. I shall be happy with being a part-writer. SEE?? I am nice like that.
Oh, and writer here obviously means ‘a person who likes to play with words and create stories about the beginning of the universe and dream sweet dreams of flying away into the darkness atop a dragon’s back ALL WHILE SCREAMING ABOUT THEIR LOVE FOR COFFEE AND FRESH PARCHMENT. Oh and also words. Always words.’
I only have a SLIGHT obsession with cold chocolate and kaz brekker. There’s no coffee anywhere. BUT I DO LOVE WORDS AND FRESH PARCHMENT AND INK. Ink smells amazing. ALSO PARCHMENT. That’s why I shall break the rules and call myself a writer today (WOW LOOK!!) and dump you with all the smol amazing details of my WRITERLY HISTORY.
Also this is TECHNICALLY the long-due first-ever episode of a writing meme (project) hosted by myself and ash WHERE WE GET TO KNOW YOUR WRITERLY SECRETS. So feel free to steal the questions. In fact, I INSIST YOU DO.
And if you have no idea what we’re currently going on about?? CHECK OUT THE INTRODUCTION POST RIGHT HERE WHERE WE EXPLAIN THE RULES OF THE MISSION. It includes swords and dragons AND A SMOL BIT OF MURDER.
DON’T FREAK OUT, I said small!!!
When was the first time you ever thought: “You know what? Words are pretty amazing and the real world sucks. I think I shall be happier living between words instead” and then gladly took up the amazing hobby of writing and daydreaming between science essays and english finals?
I was six. Dragons and wizard-hats seemed like a better life path than homework. So I betrayed homework and declared my loyalty to the dragons. Its slightly weird how I started creating stories way before I declared loyalty to the reading population. But also I was obsessed. I practically used to LIVE in stories back then. I went hunting in the woods once, and entered a monster’s palace AND MURDERED THEM ALL. With a stuffed hammer. I also went to deserted islands in search of treasure. AND ATE POISONED MUSHROOMS. It was fun. Life was good back then. I would say I miss it, but… books. I have them now. And… I kind of am INSANELY IN LOVE WITH THEM, which would be a problem if I decided to go back in time. SO I SHALL STAY.
Do you generally type out your novels because the clicky-clacky noise of the computer keys is YOUR FAVORITE or do you prefer the good old pen on paper method where you can torture more trees and bring them under your cruel rule?
I… do both?? Honestly most of my so-called novels are half-finished drafts of trash with unorganised papers and a sad jumble of dead computer files where scribbles exist in math notebooks and my characters gained perosnality in science textbooks due to boredom during long hours of lectures. I’ve probably lost the papers over the years. It’s been a long time, OKAY?? And I’m MAYBE not the most organized person alive AND I LIKE MESSES. Opinions may differ if you see me crying into the pillow over how I’d spent hours on a story and can’t find it anymore.
Genre that you otherwise refer to as the love of your magically miserable writing life? Also what is the genre you are most fond of / fill entire computer memories (or blank notebooks, WHICHEVER YOU PREFER) with?
FANTASY. Fantasy is the love of my life. WHO NEEDS REAL LIFE PROBLEMS WHEN YOU CAN BE BATTLING DARKNESS INSTEAD RIGHT?? RIGHT. There’s the fact that I’ve never written any other genre, but MINOR DETAILS. Magic is amazing. It’s also kind of the reason I write. TO IMAGINE THAT I HAVE, IN FACT, ENCOUNTERED MAGIC AND GET TO LIVE ALONGSIDE IT AND BEFRIEND DRAGONS. Dragons were always a huge part of it all, obviously. And avoiding homework has been too. FANTASY DOES NOT HAVE HOMEWORK. It’s like EVERYTHING is in favor of me writing fantasy. WHY SHOULD I STOP, RIGHT??? #genius
Spill your treasonous secrets that miiiiight lead to your death: are you a plotter or pantser?? If plotter, SHOW ME YOUR DELICIOUSLY INFURIATING PROCESS while trying not to brag too much about it, YOU BLACK-NOSED OLIVE.
I… do not actually know? IS THAT OK FOR AN ANSWER??? WHO EVEN MAKES THE RULES HERE???
Oh, THAT’S RIGHT. I do. At least I co-make the rules OKAY?? Life is fabulous like that.
Usually I end up going on adventures where I outline the beginning, cut out words a total of about 736261819819 times, end up re-writing, get bored halfway, START THE DARNED NOVEL, and again give up halfway BECAUSE THE DRAGONS WON’T BEHAVE.
In other words, I fail.
The current project I’m working on is in the first outline process. And I am PLOTTING. (AREN’T YOU PROUD??) Which mostly just includes me trying to write pretty words and taping a FREAKISHLY HUGE amount of sticky notes everywhere. ITS KIND OF A MESS, BUT ALSO A FUN MESS, so I’m not mad. And it has a google docs where bullet point outlines exist. THEY MAKE NO SENSE. I suggest we stay away. But also. SNIPPET:
How do you come up with character names without losing all of your remaining braincells and also possibly hair??
Getting to name people is COMBUSTION-LEVELS-OF-EXCITING while also being a little terrifying. I mean, WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF NAMES RIGHT??? IS NAMING ALL YOUR CHARACTERS ‘OLLIE’ EVEN ALLOWED?? Buuuuut I have a few secretly delicious methods which go as such:
1. I usually just steal them. It’s HIGHLY RELIABLE and also FUN. Mostly minor character names from my favorite novels. Like that one time I stole Ellowyn from The Cruel Prince AND NO ONE SUSPECTED A THING. Coincidentally, her last name was also stolen. From Little Women. DID I MENTION STEALING NAMES LIKE THAT IS TOO MUCH FUN?? And it also makes me feel slightly evil. I. LOVE.
2. I sometimes steal from real-life people too. When I was smaller, and wrote short stories, WHICH REQUIRED AN INFURIATINGLY HUGE AMOUNT OF NAMES, I used to steal people’s names. The process went something like this:
Me: Mom, can you name all of our relatives for me?
Me: I… forgot their names??
Mom: *sighs* *indistinct talking in background which includes aformentioned list of relative’s names*
I was kind of a genius.
3. Baby naming sites save lives sometimes. Like mine. Especially when writing stories set in DIFFERENT COUNTRIES??? Definitely lifesaver. ALSO THE MEANINGS BEHIND ALL THE NAMES ARE TOO INTERESTING TO STOP SCROLLING THROUGH?? I may have gotten slightly obsessed at some point, DON’T MIND.
First novel you ever wrote/dreamed about and were scolded for unhealthily obsessing over (in your head of course) during the middle of a physics class? GIVE US ALL THE REBELIOUS DETAILS, OK??
When I started writing, I mostly drowned under short stories. I WROTE A LOT OF FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS. (shhhh I was fairy tale-obsessed back then) and stories about frogs. LOTS OF FROGS. And people drowned. And died. Stuff happened. MAYBE I PLAGIARZED THE FROG-PRINCESS A BIT TOO MANY TIMES?? I attempted to write an actual “novel” when I was 8 and newly Matilda-obsessed. Although attempted seems like an overstatement. It was more like I got excited and screamed a bit AND THEN ENTERED AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS because I couldn’t decide whether to hand-write it on paper or type, and I tried both but then eventually gave up (because indecision) and also because I am terrible like that. (oops)
It was about a world which was dominated by magical, speaking buckets and mugs and they moved by jumping around (WHICH WAS FUN) and could speak and everything. Plus it was kind of like THE IMAGINED PERFECT WORLD where no one fights, there’s no money (because EQUALITY), LIFE IS AMAZING, etc. etc. and everyone was kind (SHHH IT’S DUMB HONESTLY, BUT LIKE I WAS 8 OK??? CUT ME SOME SLACK) but then an evil wizard transforms them into humans and the plastic (NON-LIVING ABOMINATIONS) buckets and mugs of today, and these humans are evil and destroy the planet. THE END.
I actually am still fond of the idea though, BECAUSE NOSTALGIA. I tried re-writing it last year, and changed stuff, AND IT WAS ABOUT A SEPERATED WORLD BETWEEN THE BUCKETS AND MUGS WHERE THEY USED TO BE FRIENDS BEFORE BUT ARE SWORN ENEMIES NOW AND THERE’S A WALL THAT SEPERATES THEM AND THEN A DARK PLAGUE TAKES OVER THEIR LAND AND THEY SEND THE CHILDREN AWAY AND THE BUCKETS AND MUGS HAVE TO FIGHT TOGETHER TO SURVIVE. There’s a slight mystery aspect AND SOME STUFF HAPPENS and… more stuff happens? (THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A NOVEL RIGHT??) EXCEPT THEY HAVE THESE REALLY HUGE HOUSES THAT ARE COLOURFUL AND ITS REALLY PRETTY. I want to live there. ALSO THERE’S MONSTERS. MONSTERS ARE COOL.
Do you ever just fling your pen across the room and dramatically collapse on your bed because you’ve hit a block? If yes, how do you kick the slump and if no, GIVE ME YOUR MAGICAL POWERS.
yEs. That happens a lot actually, now that you mention it. ITS SLIGHTLY HORRIBLE but also keeps the words in check. Because writers could go wild sometimes and WRITE TOO MUCH, RIGHT?? That could be dangerous. DRAGONS COULD DIE. (because NO MORE TREES LEFT *gasp* WRITERS ARE EVIL LIKE THAT)
As for coping mechanisms, I… Don’t really do anything. I’m boring like that. BUT ALSO, it’s kind of really hard finding time for studying and reading and blogging AND ALSO WRITING, so writing’s sort of the thing I do whenever I have FREE TIME. (except sometimes when I, umm, read). It comes with a label attached that goes along the lines of such: ’Attempt project only when you have nothing more pressing to attend to, OR THE DRAGONS MIGHT COME FOR YOU’ so I let the block take over sometimes. SURE, giving up the world hurts, but we also need to keep writing FUUUUUN, AM I RIGHT??
What event prompted you to lose all your remaining sanity and retreat into the woods, madly scribbling story ideas and muttering possible titles under your breath???
I LOVE STORIES. A LOT. Plus the idea of having a career as an author AND MAKING THE MAGIC YOUR ENTIRE LIFE sounds too good to give up, ok?? UNREALISTIC DREAMS, but also imagining things like that is FUN. So I shall keep going and WRITE FANTASY AS MUCH AS I LIKE.
Me realizing that dragons are really cool was probably the event that made me retreat into the woods. BUT I’M STILL NOT SURE WHETHER THAT WAS FOR WRITING OR SEARCHING FOR DRAGONS. Oh and also my mom lets me skip out on studying if I write SO THATS ALSO A HUGE PERK. MY MOM’S AMAZING LIKE THAT.
What force keeps you in this world of mad magic?
MAGIC. THE PROMISE OF MAGIC KEEPS ME HERE. And I’ve realized at this point that stories are probably the only way I shall have a TRUE encounter with magic (I STILL HAVE HOPE THOUGH, OK??? I WOULDN’T MIND FIGHTING THE MONSTERS AND KIDNAPPING RIPTIDE, just saying) and THE. REAL. WORLD. SUCKS. Except some stuff like libraries and olives and waffles. OTHERWISE, I REALLY DON’T CARE MUCH. Why choose chemistry when you can learn how to create immortality potions right?? RIGHT?? Why geography WHEN YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT FLOWERS THAT CONTAIN THE SECRET TO THE UNIVERSE??? GIVE ME MAGIC, PEOPLE. GIVE ME THE GOOD STUFF.
What was the first genre you headfirst dived into? Do you still splash in its waters?
LIKE I SAID 25335744 TIMES ALREADY, fantasy. It kind of took over my life at some point. But I also shared a little of the love (or so they call it) with realistic fiction when I was a littler olive and dreamt innocent dreams of kidnapping libraries and teaching pigeons to transform into dragons and burn down the world with me. SOME PEOPLE DROWNED IN SAID STORIES. Lions ate all the others. SOME ALSO DIED DUE TO GUNSHOTS. (I think those were the birds??) and people used to get lost a lot. THEY DID NOT KNOW DIRECTION. I based them off of me in some ways. That probably explains the disturbing lack of braincells, BUT SHHH SOME THINGS REMAIN BETTER AS SECRETS.
- Riddhi @ Whispering Stories talks about YA contemporaries and FAVORITE NAMES AND ALSO GORGEOUS BOOK TITLES. It’s perfection, basically.
- Lotus @ Pages of Starlight whispers of dragons and WORDS and scribbled stories, along with fantasy AND AMAZING LANDS. It’s really nice. I may be DELIRIOUSLY OBSESSED.
What’s the story behind YOUR writerly origin??? SOME GLORIOUS SECRETS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT? Magic versus reality: which do you prefer most? KNOW YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE IF YOU EVEN CONSIDER SAYING REALITY OK?? GIVE US THE DELICIOUS DETAILS.