Monday, July 13, 2009

A Writerly Meme

Janna and Natasha have both done this, and now it's my turn.

What was the last thing you wrote?
I'm working on a short story that's due at the end of the week. I'll post a link when it's up.

Was it any good?
It's different from other things I've written, but I'm starting to notice my "style".

Write poetry?
Haiku and limericks.

Angsty poetry?
Uhh, that would be a yes, but only in my teenage years.

Favorite genre of writing?
I have a really hard time labeling my writing. Is there a label lower than literary? Mainstream?

Most fun character you ever wrote?
The teenage-girl in my other wip.

Most annoying character you ever wrote?
I'll say me (in my memoir).

Best plot you ever wrote?
My other wip -- trouble is I haven't quite figured out how all the pieces come together yet.

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote?
Can a twist happen in the first chapter? Again, in my other wip, the plot is much more complex than in The Other Side.

How often do you get writer’s block?
I wouldn't say I get blocked, I just start procrastinating. The hardest part for me is getting started, and that is rarely because I can't think of what to say.

How do you fix it?
Lately, I bargain with myself. When editing, if I edited one chapter then I could check my email. Three chapters and I could check the gossip sites. When actually writing, the bargaining falls at at 500 & 1000 word increments.

Write fan fiction?
No, I kind of get the appeal, and while I sometimes think of other story lines for characters I like, I don't write them down.

Do you type or write by hand?
I've done both. My ideas seem to flow more organically by hand and I enjoyed writing my first draft that way. I tend to edit too much when typing.

Do you save everything you write?
Pretty much.

Do you ever go back to an idea long after you abandoned it?
I haven't been writing long enough to say "long after I've abandoned it." I have a couple short story ideas that I might go back to, and I would like to revisit my memoir, but not yet.

What’s your favorite thing you have ever written?
I should say The Other Side, but I'm so tired of it that I can't see it very objectively right now. I like the short story that was published. :)

What’s everyone else’s favorite thing you’ve written?
I have no idea. Anyone like to tell me?

Do you show people your work?
Once it's almost complete. With The Other Side I had various beta readers along the way, but my short stories I like to save until they're finished.

Did you ever write a novel?

Have you ever written fantasy, sci-fi, or horror?
My current short story is sort of sci-fi light, and I attempted a horror short story based on the cockroaches in my kitchen cabinets. Nothing full-length and I don't have any plans to.

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama?
Teenage angsty romance drama. :P These days any romance that finds its way into my writing is more off-screen.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Technically just one. I'm going to start back with my other wip within the next week, once the short story is finished. I don't like working on more than one piece at a time -- same way I don't like to read more than one thing at a time.

Do you want to write for a living?
Sure, but realistically I know that may not happen.

Have you ever won an award for writing?
Is it bad that I can't remember this? I received a couple awards in high school and I'm sure there's a chance writing was involved with some of those, but as an adult, no.

Ever written something in script or play format?
I took a script-writing class in college, so yes. My favorite was an episode of Friends that my roommate and I wrote together.

What character you've written most resembles yourself?
I'd have to say the main character of my memoir, natch. Otherwise the teenager mentioned earlier.

Where do you get the ideas for your characters?
Nowhere in particular. Mostly from real life.

Do you ever write based on dreams?
No, but I should. I have a lot of really weird, vivid, detailed dreams. I thought about turning one particular nightmare I had last fall into a short horror story, but I'm afraid to write it.

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings or cliff hangers?
Unless I have the sequel on my shelf, I don't like cliffhangers. I like endings, whether they're happy, sad, or up-in-the-air. For the most part I get annoyed with endings that are too undefined, so I think it's amusing that I've written The Other Side that way.

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen?
A couple flash fiction pieces have been based off photos, including my current one.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
(I'm stealing Janna's answer) Shoot, yes. Anal-retentive much?

Ever written anything entirely in chatspeak (How r u)?
HELL NO. I recently stopped worrying about capitalization while chatting, but that's as far as I go.

Are people surprised and confused when they find out you write well?
I have no idea. I think people who don't know me well might be, but those who know me know that I'm creative, so I can't imagine it being very surprising.

Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop in your mind.
"When they passed overhead I thought back to the stories of my childhood, of my mother's childhood, when a hovering aircraft didn't instill fear in the souls of those it patrolled. Pretending to feel a joy I suspected I might never feel again, I smiled and waved, showing my mark with one hand while the terror slid around my spine."


Janna Qualman said...

A cockroach horror? LOL!

I liked that you don't want an open ending if the sequel isn't on your shelf. That makes so much sense! And your quote is great.

Natasha Fondren said...

LOL! It's hard to say what my favorite story of yours is. A novel has an unfair advantage, because you spend time with them and develop a relationship. I haven't read your memoir or you other WIP, so Mateo naturally wins. :-)

I've given up spelling in Facebook chat. Mostly because it steals two letters from you when someone else's comment posts, so it's too time-consuming to go back and fix.

Hey! I've read that excerpt. :-)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, it's based off a post I did here a while back. I need to develop it more.

And thanks!

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, you and Janna have probably read more of my work than most people, since you've both read TOS. I was working on my website last night and decided to include an excerpt from each MS, so you'll get to read a snippet sometime in the near future.

JLC said...

How can you be the most annoying character? You are not annoying at all! :)

Great answers. It is interesting to see how much writers are alike, and all the ways that we are different.

Melanie Avila said...

LOL, that was just the first thing that popped into my head. ;)

I agree -- it's fun seeing how everyone else thinks.

Nadine said...

I'm excited to one day read your memoir and I'm sure you are not annoying in it!

I love that you might do a cockroach horror piece. That would be great!

And I love the bargaining part - I've started doing that too with Scrabble. Write for twenty minutes, then check to see if it's my turn... :)

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling a lot of us secretly wrote angsty poetry in our teenage years. (shudders at the memory)

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, parts of the memoir are worth saving, but it's going to be a major rewrite.

Melanie Avila said...

Gyspy, what's scary is not all of it was secret.

*double shudder*

Jan said...

I love this. I desperately want to write a book or short story but I really have to learn more about technique! Thanks for posting this.

Melanie Avila said...

You're welcome Jan!

The most important thing is just to start writing. Yes, you need to know a few things about technique and grammar, but if you don't try you'll never write anything.

Good luck!

Travis Erwin said...

I posted my answers today.