Writers are renowned for their sometimes odd rituals and habits. In fact, I’ve done several posts about these previously. Here’s a post on wacky writer’s rituals which contains a PDF file to download of many famous and odd rituals shared by our fellow writers.
Alternatively, tell us your writing origins story – when and why did you start writing? When did you officially announce or label yourself as a writer? in public?
Wow, two possible options here, without the Pay it Forward option! So why don’t I spill my guts about my writing.
Long ago, in a college far, far away… Actually, it didn’t really start like that, but from a young’un, I have always loved writing, having Mum type up stories about Ally Cat while I made covers for them. At college, I took the option of writing a novella for my Form 6 English project. I did quite well on it, better than the other two projects. Straight out of school I went to work in one place or another, and while I had books with pencilled stories in them, I didn’t really get back into writing again until my 30’s when my husband pointed out to me, that I would never get published unless I started writing. He actually had a good point!
The first story I wrote – I actually rewrote my College Novella – Chrystias of Amasedon as a trilogy, which I then shortened down to a large novel. None of the novels were stand alone, so it didn’t quite sit right. It was my first attempt at serious writing, and stupidly I put a chapter up on Critters – where it got savaged. Fortunately that taught me to toughen up (or get tougher skin, one of the two), and critiquing isn’t a problem for me any more.
Just then I didn’t want to work on that story any more, so I started a new one. Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen – SoCNoC 2009. I hated it and just left it to wallow in its folder on my computer. I pulled it out last year and started editing it. It wasn’t as bad as I originally thought, but it is a sweet romance.
SoCNoC (June) 2010 I wrote Medusa – based on the original Greek tragedy – from a human perspective. There were lessons to be learned with Medusa, and I later rewrote this as a romance for an Entangled Publishing submission call. I didn’t like the romance version, so will revise it again (as I kept the original) to make the tragedy deeper.
I attempted to write a Gothic Novel – Tobias and Arabella – In October 2010 – which spilled over into 2011. I ended up calling it “That bloody Gothic Novel” – not because it was “bloody” but because it just didn’t want to finish! This hasn’t been revised yet, and I need to. It is based on the 1500’s when King Henry VIII was abolishing the monasteries.
2011 was a big year for me. I planned to write a few stories this year. I started in June with Ice Planet – for SoCNoC 2011. I wrote excitedly for the month, and ended up with a 60k story I was proud of. I was so excited about it, but during August, my laptop crashed, and I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t backed up the story since the 27k mark. I therefore lost most of the novel. I rewrote this during HalfNoC 2012, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good. I didn’t write through 2011 until the June 2012 because I couldn’t. I was in the depth of my depression and really couldn’t focus on anything that I enjoyed.
At the beginning of this year, I started out with the New Year Novella over at KiwiWriters – and I wrote The Gamble. This is an exciting piece which I enjoyed writing, but realise that there is a lot missing from it. Hopefully it will become bigger with the addition of a new character. Definitely a sweet romance.
Right now, I am working on Whose that Girl – a submission call for Entangled Publishing, which closes in February 2014. I’m writing it now, so I can get it critiqued and tidied up before I submit, because February is only 5 months away!
My Writing Process –
I like to listen to music, but it needs to be quiet around me otherwise. I can’t write with lots of action going on around me, I need a relatively still setting, hence the joy I have in writing at the School staffroom when I am not officially working. It doesn’t really matter, or have to relate to the story, just as long as there is music in my ears, I can feel creative.
Having Pinterest helps too. But first I set up a file and save pictures into it, pictures that give me inspiration or ideas, and then I pin them to Pinterest so that others can see what I have used, and how I have incorporated that into my story.
I like to plan my stories, I can’t write unless I have a beginning, a middle and an end already in mind. If I don’t, the story just doesn’t get finished. I use the planning sentences to create scenes for my chapters and then work from there.
I write using Scrivener. I can’t say it is any better or any worse than yWriter, but I like it, and I like using it. Once I know how it all works, I will no doubt find it more interesting.
Now I have my new laptop, I prefer to use that, and I back up regularly (at least once a week if not daily when I am writing – call me paranoid!) I like that it is transportable and I have the freedom to write wherever I need to whenever I need to.
As for writing quirks – I guess I like to submerge myself into the culture of my stories. While doing the Gothic story, I got interested in Gothic clothing, hairstyles and makeup – even Ice Planet has a gothic kind of tone to it. While researching 1920’s I have listened to the music, watched makeup and hairstyling tips from the 1920’s.