Happy Halloween! This week I am doing the Hocus Pocus writing tag, originally made by Kim Chance in collab with Destiny Murtaugh.
- Sarah, Mary, & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?
This is a tricky question, my manuscript has really grown and matured over the course of my writing journey and I wonder if removing any of those moments – no matter how difficult or frustrating – would change the end product for the worst. One thing that I would love to get rid of, however, is my struggle against my own laziness when it comes to making use of my writing time – I’d love to magically be 100% studious and efficient.
- Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?
I have to say family and friendships. Romance has its place, but it really falls to the wayside in light of the high stakes in my manuscript.
- Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?
I’ve been watching some Brandon Sanderson lectures on YouTube lately, and he describes these two drafting styles as an “architect writer” or a “discovery writer” – and I like these terms so much more than ‘pantser’ and ‘plotter’. That said, I’m somewhere between architect and discovery – I have a basic outline of where things start and where things end, but I discover a fair amount of my story along the way.
- I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?
If I have another idea, I write those ideas down for as long as I’m brainstorming them, and then I set those ideas aside. Fortunately, the story I’m writing now is my favorite of ‘all the stories’, so it’s not hard for me to save my other ideas for later. Additionally, I think some of my ideas will be better written when I have more life experience to draw from.
- Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?
Oh gosh, how do I answer this question? My very first attempt to write this novel, I was maybe 15 years old, sitting in a tree with a pen and notebook. I tried to write the first chapter, with Kura in the forest, and it really went nowhere. I tried to write the second chapter, with Triston in the castle, and I made it through but Triston was an evil and ambitions snob. I knew I was in trouble, so I wrote an outline, for a long time. I wrote the first draft of the whole book. I puttered around in the first draft for years. Finally, about a year and a half ago, I got serious about getting this thing right and I edited and struggled and worked through everything. Where am I going with this? I don’t know, that’s my process I guess. I was learning as I went. My creation of my next book will be much smoother, I am confident about that.
- My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?
I really don’t have a writing ritual. Sometimes I like to tell myself I do, but that’s really just an excuse for me to say, ‘this isn’t right, I can’t write right now’. And, honestly, I don’t use any real writing tools, as long as I’ve got a word processor I’m ready to go.
- Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?
I’ve read one writing craft book, The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile. I read it several years ago and found it helpful. For the most part now I watch writing advice videos on YouTube, or research specific things online.
- Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?
In all honesty I write whenever I have the time, but I’m naturally drawn to write at night. I love snuggling up under my blankets, next to my puppies, with my earbuds and my laptop as a thunderstorm belts rain against the windows outside…
- The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Yikes, I’ve learned a lot – and I’m still learning. But, some of the biggest things would be let my characters be who they are, and don’t dive deep into editing the beginning before you get to the end.
- Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?
I’m a fan of the chosen one prophecy – it gets a bad rap nowadays, and deservingly so because there are so many poorly written chosen one fantasies out there, but I’m doing something fun with my manuscript, anyway.
- Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist
So, those are my answers! Do you have anything fun to share for any of these questions? Join the conversation in the comments below: