Found this one over at Marianne’s.
What’s Your Writing Style?
- Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter?”
I don’t like this question because it sounds like if you even do a hint of pre-work, you’re all about plot and not characterization. Most of my pre-work is characterization. I know most people would call me a plotter. For me, it’s more like thinking on paper.
- Detailed character sketches or “their character will be revealed to me as a I write”?
Not sketches, but memoirs. First person in the character’s voice. I have a series of questions, but if the topic is “cars” and the character starts babbling about politics in Sweden, I go with it. I figure that means something.
The more I write, I find this is the one single exercise that really matters.
- 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?
I do look at all of this (see above), but nothing’s set at this point. Sometimes, I’ve only scratched the surface of what the character and story are really about and it takes a few more drafts to get it where it should be.
- Books on plotting – useful or harmful?
Like anything else, in the wrong hands, they can be dangerous. Seriously, I’ve found that craft books are a lot like any other kind of book. Some people will relate to a certain writer and some will not.
- Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?
I can circle work for days (just ask Darcy). I look at it, it looks at me, and we both go, “Meh.” I used to freak when I hit a slump (okay, still do). Like somehow if I don’t write for a week, I’ll forget everything I’ve ever learned about writing up to this point and will have to start all over again.
Neurotic, who me? Not at all. I’m getting better at seeing that I simply need time to think.
- Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?
- Are you a morning or afternoon writer? I’m a morning person, but I probably write more in the afternoon. Go figure.
- Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?
See my previous post on Chuck E. Cheese. I don’t like writing with music coming from my computer speakers, but if there’s background music (say, at Miss B’s ballet class), I can deal.
Sometimes I think we writers baby ourselves too much. When you look at what some writers did/do under repressive regimes to write and compare it to the “omigod, I can’t write unless I have my three aromatic candles lit and Yanni on the stereo.” it can look a little indulgent.
- Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)
I’ll do both. I like doing both. It’s a mood thing.
- Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One?
I generally have a sense for how I want the story to end. There’s a writing saying about “the end is in the beginning.” I once figured out the end to a story by chanting that to myself.
- Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?
Thing is, what’s new on the shelves right now is what was selling 12 – 18 months ago. I subscribe to Publisher’s Marketplace, which sends out a list of deals every week (actually, if you’re a site member, you can log on and see/search deals).This isn’t every deal, just those agents/publishers feel like reporting.I find it more inspirational, especially when someone says, “You can’t sell that as a new author.”
Well, yes, you can sell that as a new author. You just have to do it right. That’s the tricky part.
- Editing – love it or hate it?
Love it, love it. Writing is rewriting and thank goodness for that. The one thing I’m not wild about (probably because I’m doing it this week) is keying in changes. I always edit on paper, which means I have to 1) decipher my own handwriting and 2) make changes without typos procreating around those changes.