02 September 2008

what and how I write

Instead of writing this morning, I decided to write about writing, inspired by a meme my friend Michelle passed along. I have to say, I've never really thought about how I write as much as just doing it - so it's kind of interesting to see how many different styles and attitudes people have about the craft.

1.  Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both?

Both - I'm here a lot, obviously, and I'm also trying to break into technical writing while I'm working on my first novel.

2.  Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook?

I have a personal journal, which is where I write the things that are for my eyes - and God's - alone. Other than that, no, I don't have a notebook per se, but I'll sometimes jot things down on scraps of paper, my iPhone, emails to myself, etc. as inspiration strikes.

3.  If you write fiction, do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing? Do you find books on plotting useful or harmful?

As a newbie novelist, I'm kind of feeling my way here. I have outlined half a dozen novels so far, where I knew pretty much all the people, what the plot was and how it's going to end. Obviously, none of those books got written. This one, I am pretty much letting write itself, mainly because I decided to write it two days before I started...

4.  Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?

Let me get back to you on that.

5.  Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?

I find I'm pretty much a sprinter as a writer. If I can't pound it out in an hour or two, it's time to go do something else.

6.  Are you a morning or afternoon writer?

Mornings and late evenings are my times. Mornings especially because that's when the coffee's available - if I consume caffeine after noon, I will not sleep.

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?

I'm fine with random noise - I live in the city - but I haven't been real successful writing with music on. Maybe I'll try instrumental music, but anything with lyrics throws me off: I'm one who actually likes to listen to the words of songs, and I can't really do "background" music.

8.  Computer or longhand?

Longhand? What is that?

But seriously folks... I do all my creative writing on OpenOffice on my Mac, and my journaling in what I could charitably call "handwriting."

9.  Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write?
I have a general destination that I'm navigating to, but I'm actually as interested to find out how this story ends as any reader would be.

10.  Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
I have no earthly idea what is selling in the market, so I guess this is a "no."

11.  Editing/Revision - love it or hate it?

I have edited a lot of other people's work, mostly articles and papers, and am pretty good at it - so I suppose I would say I "love" it. Of course, I've never seriously edited my own stuff, so this will be a new adventure for me. And this book will need a lot of editing...

If you write, I hope you do this meme - and please let me know if you do. There are, apparently, as many ways to write as there are writers, and I'd like to learn about your way.

1 comment:

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Have you ever tried writing to classical music? I've read that it actually stimulates the brain--as does the color yellow, so choose legal pads for notes! Like you, I sometimes get wrapped up in lyrics...but if they're songs I know well enough I can actually sing along and write something at the same time.

What kind of technical writing are you doing/interesting in doing? Let me know; I can keep an eye out on the job boards.