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This is my first post directly on Dreamwidth, and I'm wasting it on this survey instead of actually writing stuff! Ha Ha Ha

01:When did you first start writing?
I remember actually beginning to write stuff in grade 4 or 5.

02:What was your favorite book growing up?
Go Dog Go (when I was very young), then Into The Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville, and The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (these are still on my list of favourite books)

03:Are you an avid reader?
I'd say so! Although HOW "avid" depends on what I'm reading - if it's really dull, I tend to try and avoid it.

04:Have you ever thrown a book across the room?
I wouldn't say across the ROOM. I've definitely thrown a book down on the bed, and shoved a pillow over it for good measure. Writers are the worst sometimes.

05:Did you take writing courses in school/college?
I took creative writing in highschool, which had a lot less fiction than you'd expect. Then I took a business writing course in college, cause it was required.

06:Have you read any writing-advice books?
Yes, I had to for an assignment once. They are as such:
The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them)
This one wasn't bad, but most of the blunders were things I would never have tried to do, or things I already knew.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
I enjoyed reading it and it had a lot of excerpts from good books. I don't... actually remember much of it's advice though because I read it so long ago ^^'

07:Have you ever been part of a critique group?
Not really. I feel like a lot of times when people try to start "critique groups" what they really mean is "I want someone to critique my novel but I don't want to read/critique other people's writing", so the group soon falls apart.

08:What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
"It seems more like a Western than a Fantasy"
I can't say if this is really the BEST piece, but I think it's the sort of thing I'm looking for. If I'm really missing the mark I want to be aware. And my first reaction was to think "Of course it's fantasy, just wait until the end of the novel when someone becomes immortal!" But then over the years I started to think, if it's not obvious from the beginning then everything's gonna look out of place. I need to find a way to work magic into the world before the last chapter.

09:What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?

10:What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?
Weirdly specific description, obligatory romance.

11:What’s your favorite book cover?
Uhg, there's so many that I like!
The first cover of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan is beautiful, as are the UK covers of her Demon's Lexicon trilogy. I really like the covers of the Eternal Sky trilogy by Elizabeth Bear. And there's a special mention to Black Helicopters by Caitlin R. Kiernan. (I've probably left out something lovely!)

12:Who is your favorite author?
Tamora Pierce, Sarah Rees Brennan, Scott Lynch, Kenneth Oppel, Caitlin R. Kiernan.

13:What’s your favorite writing quote?
I can't think of any off the top of my head, but probably just something simple like "Writer's Write".

14:What’s your favorite writing blog? c;
I like to follow the blogs of authors like Sarah Rees Brennan, Malinda Lo and Elizabeth Bear. They're not exactly "writing blogs" but they provide insight sometimes, to how different writers do things.

15:What would you say has inspired you the most?
Being very lonely and having ample time to use my imagination.

16:How do you feel about movies based on books?
Usually... they're not good. Or not AS good. But my favourite book was turned into the Worst Movie Ever, so I'm very bitter.

17:Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?
I don't really know if they would work as such. Although, the story I'm working on now would make an interesting video game, I think.

18:How do you feel about love triangles?
They're so tiring and overdone! Even if someone tries to do like, a subversion of one, it tires me out right away.

19:Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
I used to prefer writing by hand, but I have wrist problems so now I have to type everything out.

20:What’s your favorite writing program?
I just use MS word, ahah

21:Do you outline?
It looks like I tend to outline AFTER my first draft.

22:Do you start with characters or plot?
Almost always, it's characters. I have a lot of characters that I don't yet have a plot for.

23:What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?
I like backstories and figuring out why characters act like they do, and how they'd respond to certain things. I dislike finding the "little things" about a character - if I look for them, they seem forced, if I don't look, they might not show up.

24:What’s your favorite & least favorite part of plotting?
My favourite part is when things all fit together, my least favourite part is MAKING THINGS ALL FIT TOGETHER. And also trying to figure out if things are "believable"

25:What advice would you give to young writers?
Edit AFTER you write.

26:Which do you enjoy reading the most: physical, ebook, or both?
Physical books. Ebooks don't feel real to me, and screens are hard to pay attention to.

27:Which is your favorite genre to write?

28:Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
I usually start off with an ending in mind. Maybe I'll have a beginning scene. But I always have to really work to connect them together.

29:Which do you find easiest: writing or editing?
I actually enjoy editing, but it always leads to more writing anyway. Editing is definitely less frightening than writing.

30:Have you ever written fan-fiction?
Yes, and it was not good.

31:Have you ever been published?
A couple of short stories.

32:How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
Friends can read it, relatives are embarrassing because I always feel like they'll look for a hidden message in what I'm writing.

33:Are you interested in having your work published?
I'd like to.

34:Describe your writing space.
It's my bed... which is apparently a bad place to do it :P

35:What’s your favorite time of day for writing?
Mid-day or at night, I think.

36:Do you listen to music when you write?
Sometimes - but it needs to fit the mood of things.

37:What’s your oldest WIP?
I started it in 5th grade and I'm going to re-write for the 4th time this November.

38:What’s your current WIP?
"current" haha. Well, it's a sci-fi story (trilogy) that I've been working on for the past few NaNoWriMos. I've also got another short sci-fi story that I'm working on. I mostly have it written out but I need to re-write some scenes to fit the mood.

39:What’s the weirdest story idea you’ve ever had?
There's probably been weirder but "eccentric millionaire builds and android and wipes his memory, gets him addicted to drugs, and watches him suffer for fun". Why??????

40:Which is your favorite original character, and why?
I like them all and they all have a special place in my heart!!
But I do really like my roleplay characters and I feel like I've done a lot of work with them and they've got all those little character details down.

41:What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline?
See if where they're going is better than my first idea.

42:Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?
In some ways yes, in some ways no. I feel like suffering can become a bit too much. However, in my current novels, the main character gets injured a LOT, and I enjoy that.

43:Have you ever killed a main character?
I don't actually think I have. I don't think you need to, or at least, I've never needed to.

44:What’s the weirdest character concept you’ve ever come up with?
Uh, I feel like I have a lot, but there's one that I don't even know what I was thinking... "Alien crash lands on earth and is taken in by a priest who makes him a religious zealot". But also "Anthropomorphised drafting compass that has a genetic disorder which causes her to murder people uncontrollably". I'm sure there have been even stranger than that.

45:What’s your favorite character name?
In fiction, I really enjoy the name "Scarborough Pentecost" from Caitlin R. Kiernan's Threshold.
Of my own, I like the classic "Carmine Red", but I'm currently enjoying "Lambda" (I mean, it's a code name, but still).

46:Describe your perfect writing space.
Maybe like a futon, something that offers lots of different seating arrangements. I like sunny places in general and places with lots of plants. Mostly I just need a space where I can write comfortably on a laptop so that I don't completely kill my wrists.

47:If you could steal one character from another author and make then yours, who would it be and why?
Nick from The Demon's Lexicon, because he's so simple on the surface but has a lot of depths. I like the struggles he has with connecting to people and also with violence. I think it's something I tend to use a lot in my own characters, too.

48:If you could write the next book of any series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?
I feel like if I continued any of the series I like, it'd just be a fluff piece about all the characters living on to do the things I want them to :P

49:If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?
I don't know if there are any authors I read whose style is really similar to mine, but it'd be cool to write a dark faerie tale or something with Bruce Coville or Kenneth Oppel. One of the things I really enjoyed about reading them as a child was that, although they wrote children's books, their stories had really dark themes to them as well, and they didn't leave them out for the children's sake. So the stories that I wrote at that age turned out the same way.

50:If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be?
Tortall! But it'd also be cool to live as one of the Old Ones in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence.
If someone has a problem with something you’ve done, do you prefer they confront you directly? Why or why not? When you're the one who needs to tell someone about a problem, what's your method of doing so?
I do prefer that someone confronts me directly, because otherwise the issue won't get solved. I'm a pretty laid back person so chances are I won't freak out about someone bringing up an issue with me. I'm sort of hypocritical though because I prefer not to confront other people and just suffer in silence or complain to others. If I really have a problem with someone, I will tell them - unless it would cause problems in some other area (like if that person owes me money and cutting ties with them would mean not getting it back). But I tend to avoid people in situations like that.
Do you think of yourself as an honest person? Can you think of a time where you lied to someone, just to make them feel better? What did you say?
Actually I think I lie to people all the time in little ways like this, but I have the same amount of times where I am telling the truth. More of the time I feel like I am just untruthfully committing to a definitive answer when the true answer is "I don't care".
Do you enjoy an adrenaline rush? What is the scariest thing that you’ve ever done? Would you do it again?
I think the scariest thing I've ever done has been going to Nightmares Fear Factory haunted house in Niagara Falls (Canada). Usually haunted houses are lame, but this one was so scary that I actually wouldn't go back.
Interestingly enough, I have gone bungee jumping before, but I wasn't scared of that at all (besides a brief moment of fear right before jumping). I like doing "extreme" things like that, but they don't actually scare me.
It really bothers me that the voice that often comes out when I speak is not what I would consider my true voice. It's hard to describe what a true voice is and how mine differs from the voice I use everyday. It's also sort of hard to figure whether one should use their true voice all day every day in the first place. A lot of things are strange.

I'm trying out a lot of new things as a kind of self care but I am not sure what will help or what will stick. Everything just seems sort of weird and uncertain, and I feel like a lot of doors are closed to me. There are a lot of things I want to do but at the moment a viable future is not seeming like something I'm going to achieve. I want change but I can't MAKE change from where I currently am, and it is frustrating.

I feel like I'm not moving florward, in more ways than one.

My health issues worry me because they're closing certain doors, and unfortunately a lot of those doors are to things that I actually want to do. But the process surrounding these problems is a long one and there's nothing that I can do but wait and see if anyone can find out what's wrong.

Mentally I am sort of in the same boat, but with slightly more control. It's not a question exactly of what is wrong, but rather, how to handle the multitude of things that I know are wrong. Some are things that I've been putting off for a long time and some are things that are new. Sometimes it's just a deep feeling of wrongness, and there aren't many specific things that I know of which can combat that. I'm trying to balance getting better with the things I need to do.

I don't really know where I am going with this entry, just that it's one of the many things I'm doing to try and feel better. Part of that might be acknowledging how I feel without, at the moment, getting my brain in a flurry thinking of ways to solve it. Everything is really hard right now, that's all.

Modern society is so wholly unsuited for a soul like mine.

As the Goo Goo Dolls say, "Don't it make you sad to know that life is more than who we are?"

Your heart and soul don't really matter, everyone is judging you by how successful you are.

Maybe online people would, but in the real world when someone wants to know what you're doing, "today I worked on not wanting to die" is never gonna be an acceptable answer to their question. You always need to have a job and nobody's gonna care if you're inches away from the edge unless it impedes your ability to work.

This is a bit of a sulking post but sometimes this is the only thing I can think about.

No one ever truly knows you.
No one can see inside your soul and really understand who you are. At least that is how it feels.

And I know "people aren't mind readers" and all that, but at the same time no one wants to write out a list that says "Here is who I am, here is everything about me". Nobody COULD do that. It couldn't possibly contain everything and even then something about the feeling would not be right - because anybody can know something if they've got a manual about it. Sometimes spelling it out makes you more alone than if they never knew anything at all.

So the best you can do is leave a bread crumb trail. You drop out little bits and pieces. "This song is very important to me." or "This is my favourite book" or "here is something I would never do".
And you hope that anyone cares, that anyone is interested in putting together those clues and building the picture of what you are. That people see all of these things and understand what they are to you. Understand what you're made of on the inside.

but sometimes people don't
hell, even most of the time, maybe they don't.

i guess you can't blame them but it gets tiring after a while.
you put the clues out there clear as you can make them
But no one even bothers.
You can't save anyone.

That's the biggest joke that's ever been played on us. The biggest lie we've ever been taught. That we can save someone else. But you can't. No matter what you do, THEY have to save THEMSELVES. Nothing will work otherwise. No matter how hard you try.

And the opposite is also true,
and maybe it's just a bit more cruel of a lie

We're told that people can save us. That another person can save our lives.

But you've got to save yourself. It doesn't work any other way.
Either you accept that the monster doesn't exist, or you accept the monster for what it is.
But you can't live while hating yourself.

Sometimes I think that I'm a terrible person. Sometimes it really worries me.
I have always tried to remember two options

a) I am not terrible, based on the evidence of the times when I am good to people, and the amount of bad things I keep myself away from


b) I am a terrible person and that will not change no matter what I do, so there is no point in feeling bad about it.

Either one can rationalize away the feeling, it can keep the panic away for a little longer. I don't know if it is thoughts, feelings, or actions that makes someone a bad person. I don't know what the deciding factor is.

but I know that you can't get anywhere by treating yourself as the enemy.

You have to always be on your own side, no matter what.
This seemed interesting! So I think I'll do it, probably one question a week. I feel like I probably have better answers at this point than I might have earlier.

  1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

  2. What gender do you prefer to have as a protagonist? If you have no preference, what gender do you most often have as a protagonist?

  3. How do you come up with names--for characters, and for places if you're writing about fictional places?

  4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

  5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

  6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

  7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

  8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

  9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

  10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

  11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

  12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

  13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

  14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

  15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

  16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

  17. Favorite protagonist and why!

  18. Favorite antagonist and why!

  19. Favorite minor character that decided to shove themself into the spotlight and why!

  20. What are your favorite character interactions to write? (Arguments? Love scenes? Brawls?)

  21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them/how comfortable do you feel writing them?

  22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

  23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting/submitting for publication (if you post/submit)?

  24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

  25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

  26. Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Share a drawing/some drawings of your characters, created by yourself or others! (If no one has drawn them and you can't draw, why not at least make an avatar?)

  27. Do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters?

  28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

  29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something out in the world that reminds you of your story/characters?

  30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!