As my hometown is getting socked with snow, I'm on the road at an Institute of Learning for my day job. In my rush to prepare for the institute and then pack and get out the door, I failed to ensure that part two of "...Like They Are" was ready to go. I'll get it posted by noon CST on Thursday.
In the meantime, I've been 'tagged' by my friend and fellow writer W.M. Morrell to answer an internet meme about my manuscript. I'll tag this here as FAQ and Writer's Notes for the future in case I want to come back and look at them again. So, from the comfort and warmth of my hotel room, here are my answers.
1a. What's the last thing you wrote?
I've been engaged in plotting four short stories since finishing my second NaNoWriMo novel ten days ago or so. This week I'm writing things related to my day job.
1b. What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
A rather amusing little fifteen-chapter story about a drunken swordsman that was actually a collaboration with co-workers one night at a fast food joint I was employed at. I have a typed 'clean' copy and the actual handwritten pages which were the backs of paper bags we put the burgers and fries in. I was 18 or 19.
2. Write poetry?
Not any more. I was never good at it. I wrote songs instead that were better.
3. Angst poetry?
Um, what? I'll have to look that up when I get a minute, but no.
4. Favorite genre of writing?
SF/Fantasy. I love the wide-open spaces and endless possibilities of creating worlds.
5. Most annoying character you've ever created?
According to my friend Marlan, Strangiato is annoying. He pops in, pops out, drops pronouncements on the other characters whenever I need him to. For me, my superhero The Peanut (who was actually a reworking of a character of the same name that my friend Chris devised in grade school) was annoying until I gave him some more interesting traits. He appeared in my run of mini comics ca 2000 - 2001.
6. Best plot you've ever created?
The first one that gets me published. Until then, it's my current work and that's the NaNoWriMo novel.
7. Coolest plot twist you've ever written?
If you're reading the stories here, I don't want to ruin it for you.
8. How often do you get writer's block?
After a long burst of writing, like NaNo, it's come up. In April and May of 2009, I'd written about one short story a month and had really struggled with the last one. I wasn't necessarily blocked, I think it was that I wasn't interested in going further with that particular story. It took a massive amount of will to get to the end and then I took a month off from writing. I had ideas and I wrote stuff down, but I didn't do any writing during that time. I just needed to recharge the engines, I guess.
But how often do I get writer's block? I have to say I don't. At least not yet. I've got ideas, it's the time that's challenging at this point.
9. Write fan fiction?
No, but I was tempted to. Once.
10. Do you write by hand?
Not seriously. I plot by hand so that I can have the satisfaction of scratching stuff out and keeping track of all the ideas that I'm playing with for a story.
11. Do you save everything you write?
Moreso now than before. I'm a pack rat by nature, though. Well, okay, I have stuff everywhere. Yeah.
12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?
Some times. I'm looking at doing that next year for the longer works I want to write for the web.
13. What's your favorite thing you've written?
"I love you" on every note I leave for my wife. "The Receivers" for myself.
14. What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written?
The Receivers by a lot.
15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
I wrote and drew a romance comic called "The Stone Man" and I will adapt and finish it in 2010 on the web here. It's not a typical romance, though.
16. What's your favorite setting for your characters?
Any room where they can talk.
17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?
I'm writing stories for The Long Range, I will be going back to actively edit the novel I just 'finished' and then plotting out and starting to write the new set of stories for the site here. So, three. Plus the stuff I have to do for the job that pays the bills.
18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Not for the actual writing. However, I was just yesterday awarded a very nice prize from a random drawing of NaNo participants in my town. More on that to come.
19. What are your five favorite words?
"What the fuck?" and "Well, hello". Does that count?
20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Walt from The Stone Man is a lot like me. In the future. And a lot more curmudgeonly.
21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?
People I encounter, conversations I overhear, radio and TV programs. All of them, of course, filtered through my own experiences to make them different and unrecognizable from the original.
22. Do you ever write based on your dream?
I have. If you read the stories here you can probably figure out which ones.
23. Do you favor happy endings, sad endings or cliff-hangers?
I like happy endings, or at least endings that resolve the main problem and then leave me asking "I wonder what would happen if you continued the story?"
My approach to storytelling right now is that I want the reader to think for oneself what's going on. I don't like telling the reader every single detail, so there are some endings that should leave one with a "Huh? What the --- was that?" kind of feeling. I realize this puts me in a much smaller niche, but it makes me happy as I'm writing. Somebody somewhere will get it.
24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Sometimes. Sometimes not. Depends on my mood and my time limit.
25. Does music help you write?
Sometimes. Sometimes not. Depends on my mood. I'm comfortable without it when I'm writing, but it's helped me when I needed a little push and then it fades into the background when I'm in my writer zone.
26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.
"Armstrong Story's future was not what he thought it would be."
And there's the end of the meme. I'll field questions and comments as they come in, so feel freed to stop in down below and speak what's on your mind. Remember that "...Like They Are" will return on Thursday and thanks to Wendy for tagging me. This was fun.