Saturday, May 26, 2007

Writing Meme

Callytagged me on this writing meme in the week. It was funny but when I was reading hers I was feeling how useful it would be to look more closely at how I write. I felt it might help me identify some strength's and possible weaknesses therefore I was pleased to see my name at the bottom. Thanks Cally I have enjoyed yours and the the others I have read this week.

1. Do you outline?

No, I mind map my ideas on the story and on each character. At the beginning I find an outline too structured but now am looking at doing it once the first draft is complete so I have a handle on what I have written.

2. Do you write straight through a book, or do you sometimes tackle the scenes out of order?

I write straight through. Although I always know the end of my books I haven't a clue what will happen on the way there so I need to write in a linear fashion otherwise my brain would become more addled. If by some chance I think of an idea ahead I jot it down in my journal of add it to the mind map

3. Do you prefer writing with a pen or using a computer?

Computer. I gave up long hand in university although I keep a journal with all my scratching in it which I love. It's one of those moleskin ones.

4. Do you prefer writing in first person or third?

I have always written in third but I am toying with the idea of first for the next idea bubbling.

5. Do you listen to music while you write?

Occasionally classic but generally not as I find I become lost in the music too easily. How ever I can listen when I am revising???? Go figure that one. Maybe it helps my embarrassment when I read my work aloud to have other noises nearby????

6. How do you come up with the perfect names for your characters?

My main main characters seem to be born in my mind with names already. That is first names. last names came be more problematic. For secondary characters - it can be as scientific as whose name I see in the paper that morning.

7. When you're writing, do you ever imagine your book as a television show or movie?

Absolutely. When I write the whole thing plays in front of my eyes. i don't see the screen or the keyboard but the scene I am writing. It is all very visual for me.

8. Have you ever had a character insist on doing something you really didn't want him/her to do?

Yes and always with interesting results. At first I used to fight this and now I let it run and see where it leads me. I can always change it later!

9. Do you know how a book is going to end when you start it?

You bet. I write woman's fiction and I'm an optimist so there will be some sort of happy ending. it's just the bits that get to me to that ending that I often haven't a clue about!

10. Where do you write?

Currently the dinning room table. It really doesn't matter to me. I just bring chaos with me where ever I write.

11. What do you do when you get writer's block?

When my subconscious hasn't caught up with where I am in the story is when it hits so I need a little down time to walk or drive or read.

12. What size increments do you write in (either in terms of word count, or as a percentage of the book as a whole)?

At the beginning of the book about 1000 words a day but as I progress into the book that increases to 2000/3000 because I have a clearer idea where the story is taking me.

13. How many different drafts did you write for your last project?

Well, we all know I just finished draft one of A Cornish House and I am on draft 5 of August Rock so I think the answer is as many as it takes to get the damn thing right!

14. Have you ever changed a character's name midway through a draft?

Yes many times. While writing August Rock I had to change Judith's last name to Chambers because the previous incarnation was to close to someone famous. Hint, google the name before you become to deep in the story. I also have to change Tristan's last name because there was another house with the same name in the area that I am writing about. Secondary character's name get chopped and changed frequently with me!

15. Do you let anyone read your book while you're working on it, or do you wait until you've completed a draft before letting someone else see it?

Yes. Some times its good to have some feedback at the beginning.......

16. What do you do to celebrate when you finish a draft?

A bottle of bubbly, a long hot bath with a good book. I don't read much when I am writing the first draft.

17. One project at a time, or multiple projects at once?

One at a time. I rely on my journal to capture the ideas for the others while I focus on one.

18. Do your books grow or shrink in revision?

Good question. If I am doing a Sol Stein revision they shrink but having done that a few times now my writing has become stronger. However since plot is my weakness my books are now growing with revision as I add in more complications.

19. Do you have any writing or critique partners?

No. I tried but I just couldn't be critical enough of someone else's work. I'm too nice by nature.

20. Do you prefer drafting or revising?

Both. Hah, I never thought I would say this. I love the rush of the first draft but I'm learning to love seeing that become something better and stronger! I'm mad I know!

Now I need to tagged five other people for this meme...... so I tag (you are free to ignore me!) Fiona Harper, Julie Cohen, Bernardine Kennedy, Therese Fowler and b. e. sanderson . If you are in the UK , Julie's Little Black Dress book Spirit Willing Flesh Weak is being given away today free in the SUN newspaper! I read it last year and loved it so go get your free copy.......


Lesley Cookman said...

That was really interesting, Liz. You must get published soon, you sound far more professional than I am! I think I might have to tag myself...

Oh, and my knees are much better, thanks, and thanks also for buying Murder at The Laurels.

liz fenwick said...

I really enjoyed that meme. Do it. It's fun so consider yourself tagged!

Thanks for the vote of confidence!!!

Looking forward to the Murder at the Laurels :-)

Jessica Raymond said...

That was a really great tag! Loved reading your responses, Liz :)

Jess x

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Jess :-)

Jen said...

Gosh, it's so interesting to see how everyone else's writerly brains work, isn't it?

Right, time to do some writing!

Caroline said...

I love this meme. Fantastic.
It has made me think about how I function.

B.E. Sanderson said...


My answers are up. It was fun and informative, so I will grudgingly say... Thanks.

I hope you enjoy my answers as much as I enjoyed yours.

Jan said...

Good stuff this, Liz.
Thanks for a juicy read.

A. Writer said...

Great Meme!

P.S. where do I send my profile?

liz fenwick said...

it's a great meme I really enjoyed doing! We all work differently except that the output is words :-)

a.writer, my email addy is under my profile :-)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

This meme is interesting (well to us writers it is anyway). And another profile coming up - woo hoo!!

Julie Cohen said...

I will do this this week, I promise!

liz fenwick said...

I look forward to reading it Julie :-)