Tuesday, December 22, 2009

26 questions

Anne Spollen has tagged me! I love her responses; hopefully mine will be half as interesting. If you think it would be fun to do this meme, you're tagged!

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

The last thing I wrote (which I'm still working on) is Bell-Men. The first thing I wrote that I still have...hmm, most of my really old stuff I've pitched long ago. I think I still have a copy of a (terrible) YA book I wrote in the late 1990s called The Rooftops of Simminee Soo. The title was the only good thing about that one. I've stolen the city's name for Little Sparrow, incidentally.

2) Write poetry?

Not anymore, not since college.

3) Angsty poetry?

Not anymore, not since college. :)

4) Favorite genre of writing?

Fantasy, definitely.

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?

The annoying ones get cut and deleted from my brain, so I don't remember any.

6) Best plot you've ever created?

Ah. Ahahahaha, um. My plots are terrible.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

Plot twist? I do not understand this thing called a 'plot twist.'

8) How often do you get writer's block?

I don't think I've ever really had writer's block. I stress a bit when I'm not writing, but I've recently come to realize that I need recharge time after finishing a project or two. I may not be actively writing, but I'm still working on some level.

9) Write fan fiction?

Ew, no. I find the concept of fanfiction distinctly icky, like watching someone wank off. Maybe that's just me.

10) Do you type or write by hand?

Both. Sometimes if I feel stuck on a project, switching to longhand seems to help. I also like writing longhand because I do an editing pass as I type without feeling like I'm editing.

11) Do you save everything you write?

Usually. Even the awful, unfinished stuff tends to have parts I like. I sometimes crib ideas from retired stories, so it's helpful to have old documents on the computer to look over. Of course, the really old stuff is all gone--and good riddance, frankly. I probably ought to do another purge.

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

Sometimes, but it rarely works the second go-around if it didn't work the first time.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

I love it all until I hate it--how's that? I (alone in all the world, apparently) love The Weredeer and I absolutely adore The Taste of Magic even though it's received 18 agent rejections. I'm less sure about Bell-Men, probably because it's still in progress, but it's the most commercial thing I've ever written.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

I have no earthly idea. People seem to like Jack of All Trades.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

No, but that's next on my to-do list.

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

Secondary worlds. I very rarely set stories in the real world. It's boring, and I have to do research.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Just one, Bell-Men, although considering how often I catch myself thinking about other pending projects, I suspect I'm actually working on several. I'm just only adding actual words to Bell-Men.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?

It's sad that I had to think about this one. No.

19) What are your five favorite words?

I've been sitting here for several minutes trying to think of just one. I don't get stuck on favorite words the way I used to. If I did have favorite words, no one would know because I would edit them down to one--maybe two--uses per novel-length project.

I like writing about snow.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

Ana from The Taste of Magic. She's enough like me that I keep nervously doing the Mary Sue checklist to make sure she hasn't fallen into the Mary Sue puddle.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

I have no idea. I usually start with a vague idea for what the story needs, find a name I like, and then start writing. It all evolves organically from there. Sometimes I don't like the character I've created, which means the whole project is dead. Fortunately that doesn't happen very often, especially not recently.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?

I've written three stories based on dreams. Two of them have sold after major huge extensive rewrites, and the third has not sold despite major huge extensive rewrites. Never again!

23) Do you favor happy endings?

Oh, definitely! I just want my characters to deserve those endings.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes, although it's sort of second nature for me and I don't stress about it much as a result.

25) Does music help you write?

Not really. When I'm writing, I tune everything out so I don't hear any music playing.

26) Quote something you've written.

From Bell-Men:

I heard Patience scream and looked back into the main room. I didn't see any dogs, but a bell-man had cut Patience’s throat and was standing over her limp body, hacking at her neck with a knife nearly big enough to qualify as a small sword. I stared in horror as he sawed through her spinal cord and severed her head entirely.

I covered my mouth with both hands to keep from screaming. I thought I would puke. I thought I would faint. The bell-man straightened up, covered in blood, holding the head in one hand and the knife in his other. He saw me.


Alan W. Davidson said...

Whoa, that's a lot of questions. I loved that excerpt from the Bell-Men. Gruesome and suspenseful...

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks. :)

Aaron Polson said...

Fantasy? You just made me feel very uncomfortable with that Bell-Men excerpt. Very uncomfortable.


K.C. Shaw said...

That's why I picked that particular excerpt. :)

Cate Gardner said...

You picked an excerpt to make Aaron feel uncomfortable!!! That's evil. ;)

Re number one, I love it when you can weave something good from something awful. And as you are uncertain about Bell-Men, I predict it will be a runaway success.

Oh, and yes, Jack is my favourite story of yours.

K.C. Shaw said...

I certainly hope Bell-Men is a runaway success (or any success at all), considering the time I've spent on it. I can't decide if it's good or not, which is weird.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Nice excerpt. I am jealous that you have never had writer's block.

K.C. Shaw said...

Well, I have lots of times when I don't write, but I could if I had to. I don't think that counts as writer's block.

Anne Spollen said...

Ohhh, your brain is wonderfully weird...

K.C. Shaw said...

Hehe, thanks. At least, I think thanks. :)

Jeremy D Brooks said...

My greatest plot twist is yet to come: I'm going to write half of a novel as Dan Brown, and the other half as Cormac McCarthy. Like "Adaptation", only dumber.

K.C. Shaw said...

*snickers* You do realize that it'll be a runaway bestseller, don't you? Half the critics will praise it to the skies and the other half will thrice-damn it.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

I know, I'd have to make a speech that started with "But...but...I was Kidding!"

K.C. Shaw said...

That would be even sweeter! No one would know what to think. :)