Okay, so this TAG! is a teeny bit unique because it's with my awesome friend, SC. Why is it unique? Because I don't know any more of his name. SC is what he goes by. He prefers to remain anonymous, so I respect his preference. (Even if I find it odd at times. :p ) I met SC on the wonderful, AQC, and we became friends and CPs. (Like all those abbreviations there? :D ). He's a nice guy who is pretty positive and upbeat. SC only recently began blogging and tweeting-I've mentioned that a time or two. ;) His blog is interesting and he tweets various things, check him out. :) Also, today is his birthday...Happy Birthday, SC! :D
1. When did you start writing?
OOhhh, um..... a long time :) I've written poetry as a kid (like really young) and I wrote travel journals when I went to other countries. The first 'book' I wrote was really a short story--a fanfic for a writing competition in... 4th grade, I think. It was based off of the animated character Kirby. Hehe. I wrote a much bigger story (still a short story) in 5th grade about magic, and I wrote a short Allen Poe-esq story in 7th grade.
2. What made you want to write?
JK ROWLING ALL THE WAY! Well, maybe not. I wrote tons (poetry and short stories) before I read JKR, but I think it was due to her that I wrote my current manuscript, VIS DECOR: ALPHI. The book is, well, based off of my own life experiences, and I wanted to find an escape. I found an idea, and I thought, "Why don't I try writing?" because I loved Harry Potter so much.
3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
My English teacher took me to the side and told me that I should try and get my Edgar Allen Poe short story published. (And me, being a 7th grader, slapped it onto a short story website and called it published.) Years passed, and I wrote my current manuscript. I kind of decided, from the beginning, that I would love to see it in print and published. Now I'm taking a bit of a break from it and beginning to write something else :)
4. What genre(s) do you write?
YA Fantasy :) Actually, it might be high fantasy, because it is set on an underwater, separate world... but I just use YA fantasy. The novel I just started writing is an adult... contemporary? If that's even a genre....
5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
JK Rowling, heheh. I kind of was like, "I'd love magic in my book." So therein came the fantasy, but the idea for the underwater world was unrelated to anything Harry Potter or JKR. YA age group because the themes and emotions in those books were based off of the events in my teen years. (Score one for teen angst.) The adult genre because I felt REALLY strongly about something that is an issue with only adults. Literally. Health insurance.
6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Here comes my secret. Sigh. Don't tell anyone (and keep in mind, I AM A GUY) but I listen to...... sigh...... Adele before I write crazy emotional scenes. AH! I said it. But I honestly don't think any other singer has as much emotion in her voice or lyrics, and no other singer has moved me as much as she has. (She brings music back to where it came from and where it should go back to: power of voice.)
I listen to the Script and Greenday because the song's emotions should match the scene's emotion. (Adele can't work for everything.) I listen BEFORE I write. During the actual writing, I kind of forget about the music. It just stops playing from the Youtube tab I have up.
7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
OUTLINE, all the way!! Well, let me take that back. I use sort of an 'organic' outline, where I sit down, and I go, "this happens, so what would happen next? Oh, how about next?" and then (apart from the few, critical, scenes) it is done naturally from the beginning. It's kind of like writing your story with all the surprises, but with a lot less words.
Of course, my original outline (for the MS I completed) was 22 chapters or something, and now that I wrote it, it has ballooned to 36 or something. Don't be too attached to your outline.
8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
I usually write in bed, and I try getting music before I draft (see question 6). During revisions/editing, I don't have music.
9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Every single scene that I felt emotionally strong about I wrote on paper because... well, I don't know, I feel it's more smooth that way. But mostly, I do it straight on the computer. Queries I've learned to write it from scratch for a new draft; it's a lot fresher and better that way.
10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
Hehehe, um, well, this is my first full-length book, and I wrote three short stories (two of which I thought were books but I now realize are short stories). I'm beginning to write something new. Tons of poetry--two of which have been published.
11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
My family (my core family) is supportive, I guess, but I kind of hide the fact that I'm a writer from everyone else. I don't feel comfortable in divulging that fact. I don't want to get questions like, "Oh, when is it going to be published?" or "So what's your real job?" because I feel like I'd stab myself in the eye. And I like my eyes.
12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm trying desperately to get into the media, and I just recently created a blog and a twitter. SCwrite.blogspot.com and @SC_Author. I've begun blogging and Tweeting, and let me tell you, I love it :)
13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
That there is one way to do stuff. But, honestly, the (good) advisers on the Internet know this fact, so I haven't really heard and horrible advice that is repeated over an over.
However, I did hear of this one writer (very successful) who said that a writer should draft once (no revisions), send it off to a beta, revise once, and send it to agents. NO!! (Well, for me, anyway.) I revised mine upwards of seven times, and it has gotten much better after that. Never fear the revisions :) The writer who said this has published tons of books, and I haven't. I think he might only be talking to the James Patterson type.
14. Where did you come up with the underwater world concept of your book?
I did a painting where a golfer was golfing in outer space (don't ask me where that idea came from). That is (long, long story short) where I got the idea to set my world on a different planet :) Also (this might have been a dream, I'm not sure) I had an idea where there was a Beast, or monster that whirled around in space. I thought, "Hey, what if that monster was the core of the planet?" The Beast is the source of magic. Since I needed magic, I needed to go the nearest I could to the Beast--to the planet's core. I needed to go deep, and that meant in the ocean.
15. Why the name Alphi?
Her species are the Alphas, the supreme species. (For some reason) I just assumed my main character was a girl even though I am a guy, so it just kind of clicked to me that, to make a feminine Alpha, I should use Alphi. I fell in love with the name, and I used it :)
16. What got you interested in physics?
Oohh.... I think I just liked outer space and the planets as a kid, and once I learned more, I grew to enjoy the cosmos. I wanted to find out more about them because they were just so darn awesome. Just Google space. Just do it. And then you'll see why I love it so much :)
17. Why don't you listen to music while you revise/edit?
I REALLY need real, pure emotions when I write the scene originally, and the music helps. But fixing stuff up and doing damage control doesn't really need music. It was just more natural to do it without music and I just sat down and edited. Hehehe, I actually didn't realize that I do this until I read this question :)
18. Where have you traveled? Any specific reason?
I've traveled a loottt. Most of the 50 states (including Hawaii), and also Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, India, Switzerland, France, and, my FAVORITE place in the world, Italy, and most specifically, Rome. I love to travel because you get to see so many different cultures, people, and landscapes that you can't find in the USA. Here, every state looks the same with McDonald's down every block. It's just the atmosphere of being in different countries, the ancient places and air. Imagining the ancient Romans walking where you walked. It's hard to describe.
I LOVE ROME. I will live there for a few months. I will. I just know I am. I love it, the landscape, the air, and the buildings (I'm iffy on the people, because many were quite rude. That's okay, though. They're Romans. They're allowed to be rude).
19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I love to oil paint (love love love). From portraits, to Rome, it's just fun. I love learning about (don't kill me) physics too. Actually, my day job is probably going to revolve around physics, once college is done. Sigh. I'm a weird writer.
20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
GET A CRIT PARTNER! Mine are life savers; I've shaved off 45K words because of them. Also:
PASSION. I can preach this over and over, but you need passion in your work. Quite honestly (and some might say differently but I'm willing to debate it out), if you have the passion, your manuscript should NEVER be trunked.
Hear me out.
That passion means that you will throw out your entire manuscript and outline, from scratch, all over again, if your manuscript is really stinking up the place. And, above all, you will not ever get defensive about your book. You will not make excuses.
But there comes a point (balance, people) where you have to ask yourself if you are just trudging along. That's what happened to my MS, and even though I still LOVE it, it's time to move on. For now. I'm taking a few months to let it sit, write something new, and come back to it. If something is giving you too much pain, take a break and write something new. Keep it on the back burner.