The Writer Tag: 20 Questions

I pretended I didn’t have like a billion tags in my drafts and looked one up that was writing related. I found the Writer Tag: 20 Questions on a blog called InkBlots and IceBergs and just thought “this fits the NaNo month!”, so, here we are! Let’s do this!

What type of writing do you do? 

I write exclusively fiction. I’m not sure that’s what was really asked for, but to expand a little on it, I write long formatted fiction and every once in a while a short story. However, as much as I enjoy essays and poetry, I could never …

What genres and/or topics do you write about?

A lot of my stories focus on the found family trope and by that I really mean A LOT. I dabble in YA as well as in adult and like to switch it up with Fantasy, SciFi and regular contemporary stories. It’s really a “whatever strikes the mood” kind of thing for me.

How long have you been writing?

As corny as it may sound, but I am pretty sure I’ve been writing since I learned how to write. Even in grade school, I was the one who had to get up in front of the class and read out loud the story I had fabricated and I just never stopped creating ever since.

Are you published?

I am not and I am super undecided whether I want to be.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

That feels impossible to answer! I can, however, talk about the first really long story I attempted to write and even shared with some friends. It was called Elementals and about a group of teens who could each control one element (aka water, fire, air and earth). Their enemies were the Society of the Iron Mask, as they believed that metal was not affected by the element wielders. Little did they know that the main character, who could control the element of earth, also discovered that she could manipulate metals. She also had about three love interests. I was super proud for writing this before Avatar, the Last Airbender aired and everyone wanted element stories.

Why do you write?

To me, writing is like a necessity. When a story or scene or character pops into my head, they won’t let me go until I write them down somewhere. It doesn’t always have to amount to anything, but it would never leave my system unless I jotted it down somewhere.

How do you find time to write?

Honestly, this is something I struggle with a lot. I wish I could write all the time and make it a priority, but a lot of the time I am just tired. And when I am tired, I do not want to write. I also don’t think that I can write anything I’d actually like in those cases.

When and where are the best times to write?

There is no such thing as a bad time to write (unless you are at work and not doing your job or behind a wheel or something else where it’s just not logical to write in that particular moment). Whether it be night or day, if you have an idea and you want to work on it – go for it!

Favorite food/drinks while writing?

No such thing for me. I generally either drink water or tea and nothing else. And I am not really that much of a snacker. Maybe some wallnuts?

Your writing playlist?

I actually do have one. Click here to listen to it!

What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?

I think they approve? I’ve been told that I am not a bad writer (not gonna actually praise myself here), but I am also pretty sure they’d like for me to actually finish something for once.

Here, for example, is something I am currently working on. Judge my writing ability for yourself:

Parts of writing you enjoy the most?

There are few things that I adore more than when a scene just spills out on the age effortlessly. That moment, when choices I made before and was unsure about suddenly make sense and everything fits together like the perfect puzzle pieces they are. Sometimes I really do lay bread crumbs throughout my own story that I will not have realized I put there until I get to a certain moment and it’s pure bliss.

Parts of writing you find challenging?

I often really wish I could connect my brain to my laptop and that the words would just spill out the way I intend them to instead of me actually having to formulate sentences. It’s not always hard, but sometimes some scenes just don’t want to work the way you want them to. And it annoys me to no end.

What do you write with and on?

Technically pretty much anything and everything, but most often my laptop for sure.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

If only I knew … hit me up if you got tips!

How do you motivate yourself to write?

I think my stories motivate me and I have a habit of sharing my stories with people I trust, even the ongoing rough drafts. Hearing their thoughts and reactions to what I write really gives me a boost!

Authors who inspire you as a writer?

This doesn’t really mean that I think I write like them in any way, but here are some people I’d read a grocery list from:

  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Victoria Schwab
  • Tahereh Mafi
  • Pierce Brown
  • Ben Philippe
  • Morgan Matson
  • Nina LaCour

Books that inspire you as a writer?

There’s so many books I appreciate and try to learn from, but here are some that always stay with me:

Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1) Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1) This Savage Song  (Monsters of Verity, #1) The Martian The Serpent King Since You've Been Gone We Were Liars My Life Next Door The Book Thief The Light Between Worlds Words in Deep Blue

Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

I never quite liked the whole “write every day” and “write about what you know” mindset, because I cannot for the life of me write every day and there is way more that I do not know than what I do know. My experiences are still so limited and while I am sure there is value in that, I also need to step out of my little world every once in a while. I write about many things I do not actually know about. Frankly, I write about things I want to know more about sometimes or things I wish for. More often than not, I write about things I have dreamed about.

And that brings me to the advice I got, which is to write down my dreams. To not wait until I have had my morning tea and am fully awake, but to always have a pen and notebook ready at my bedside table and just jot down those ideas my brain fabricated in the night. Alternately, if it’s too dark to write yet and I am super groggy, I will make a quick note on my phone.

Writing goals this year

Finishing just about anything would be great!

A girl can dream …

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this month? Are you currently working on a story? Feel free to steal this tag if you want to!

Spooky Scary Writing Tag

I meant to do something else today, but this seemed oddly more fitting for today. You know that I enjoy doing Write Tags every now and then and with NaNoWriMo RIGHT THERE and it being Halloween and all, it just works? The Spooky Scary Write Tag was created by Emma @Emma T. Fink but I saw it over at Caro’s blog. Therefore, this is once again not a creation of my own, but I am so, so looking forward to doing this anyway!

A lot of the questions are general ones about writing, however, a couple are about a specific WIP. In those cases, I will be answering for the Football WIP! I haven’t talked about it a whole lot, but most recently mentioned it in the All Hallows Write Tag.  I haven’t changed the blurb since, but I have worked on it mentally … you’ll still have to contend with this one though:

After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.

Haven’t shared this aesthetic with anyone yet, so … it’s a premiere!! One that will likely only make sense to those that know more about the story and the main character.

1.Ghost // Have you ever originally put a character/scene/theme in the book and then later taken it out?

Character – no
Scene – yes
Theme – yes

I usually tend to stick with characters, although I will not hesitate to alter their personality/appearance/general role in the story. But when it comes to scenes and themes, I am often less attached.

2. Bat // Most misunderstood character in your WIP?

I feel like that has to be Taylor. He has this carefree attitude and seems like nothing in the world fazes him, but it does. His bad boy/charmer image is just a way to hide what’s happening on the inside for him. In his heart, he’s a good guy. He’s just really hesitant to attach to anyone.

3. Jack-O-Lantern // What’s your most common source of inspiration to write?

I can find inspiration in almost anything and everything! Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a theme in a TV show that I would like to explore on my own. Very often it’s just daydreams that get stuck in my head and need further development or I will never ever get rid of them again.

4. Zombie // Preferred form of writerly fuel? Coffee, tea, etc.

Tea. Always.

5. Vampire // Cheesiest trope that made it into your novel?

Okay, this is actually from the only novel I finished, as I don’t want to talk about WIPs in that much detail, but … Break Up Buddy literally ended with a proposal on live television. It was Hallmark-level-cheese perfection!

6. Spider // What’s a character in your WIP that’s fine from afar, but you would NOT want to interact with if they ever got close?

I … don’t know? Especially in the Football WIP, I don’t have any “villains” per se. There’s definitely conflict, but the characters are all just humans with flaws and mistakes. I don’t think I would really mind being close-ish to any of them. I might imagine Laurie stressing me out … let’s go with that if I have to answer.

7. Frankenstein’s Monster // Ever combined two characters into one/split one character into two?

Dang, my answers are so boring, but … no. I don’t think that option ever even crossed my mind.

8.Skeleton // Best tips for adding in character baggage without info-dumping?

Ha! I didn’t know I was supposed to offer actual helpful insight. Uhm, I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with that every now and then. I like to hint at past trauma/baggage in dialogue and actions until a certain reveal becomes inevitable. That way you prepare the reader that something is coming, even if they don’t yet have the full picture and/or understand it all. I’m not saying that always works and very much depends on the baggage you intend to include, but I definitely prefer behavioral clues rather than just lengthy explanations myself.

9. Cat // What’s a polarizing writing/bookish opinion that you have?

I don’t believe that you HAVE to or SHOULD write every day. There’s definitely people who it’s helpful for to write on a regular basis, but if you are not feeling it one bit and hate what you create because you forced yourself to write, what’s the point? I’d rather take a break and clear my head, maybe find new inspiration and then get back to it with all the more motivation. Obviously, that’s tied with a bit of self discipline and making sure a short break doesn’t turn into weeks and months of inactivity. But to each their own!

10. Demon // Most frequent writing distraction?

TV shows! I think I can handle not checking social media all the time, but when I get enamored with a TV show, I forget all other standing responsibilities and live in that world in my head. Especially my own stories take a back seat then, even if they shouldn’t.


What did you think of this tag? Could you relate to my answers? Let’s chat!

All Hallows Write Tag – AGAIN!

Soooo, I am bringing this back! As a lot of you know, I have created a number of write tags myself. They are incredibly helpful in delving into the mindset of your characters as you answer questions on behalf of them. I’ve tried to create them for various occasions and seasons, but the All Hallows Write Tag is not a creation of my own. It took me a while to find the original creator (forgive me for not tagging them the first time I did this!), but you can see Sam Kassé‘s post here.

RULES

  • Provide a short description of your story!
    I was debating about which project to talk about today, because as you know there are many! However, the one I am most focused on right now and am trying to prep for NaNoWriMo some more is the Football WIP (yes, it still doesn’t have a title). And since it doesn’t have a title, it also doesn’t have a polished blurb. Sorry about what comes next:
    After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.
  • Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

It’s Halloween night! What is your protagonist dressed up as?

I think the whole Football team would get an easy group costume. They’d want something easy that wouldn’t require massive effort (at least for the majority of them), so, I say they’d go as Football player zombies.

As for Ivy, the real protagonist and narrator, I don’t think she would go all out now that she has moved to Eden. Back in Portland, with her friends, she put in more effort, but not now. She’d likely get a cheap wig, put some fake blood on a dress she has no use for anymore and go as victim #27, just so Landon (her 10-year-old cousin) wouldn’t be too bummed when she took him trick or treating.

Who in your cast refuses to dress up and shows up at the Halloween party without a costume?

I honestly can’t see anyone downright refusing to dress up. Maybe the adults would only put on a hat or something, but out of the characters that I actively mention on the regular, they’d all do something.

Which character wears the most outrageous costume, and what would it be?

My mind immediately went to Isaac! He is a quirky dude and I could totally see him going as a demigorgan or some other ridiculously intricate monster. He’d be way overdressed, sweating and still dancing his ass off anyway at a Halloween party.

On Halloween, werewolves, vampires, and zombies are on the prowl. Which of your characters gets caught in their clutches, and which creature do they subsequently turn into?  

The whole theme of my novel is that Ivy gets caught up in something she had no intention of getting caught up in, so … her? And just because I said earlier that the Football team would go collectively as zombies, I’m gonna bring this full circle and say they turn into real zombies and then turn her!

Who wins the contest for best costume?

Even though I feel like Isaac would deserve it due to putting so much effort in, it’s probably more of a popularity contest in the end and someone like Gina (who is the sweetest and head cheerleader) would get it. She was dressed as Liz Ortecho in her Crashdown uniform, because she thinks they look alike and aliens are fun but not scary.

Who hands out toothbrushes to the trick and treaters?

Laurie – 100%!! But Hal would be right there with her and sneak the kids something else before they left, but not candy, cause he did not think ahead of getting any. He knows she means well, but he can’t just let his wife sour the mood.

Which two of your characters decide to pair up and do an angel/devil costume together?

Liv and Dusty? Carter and Taylor? I don’t knoooow. The more fun version would definitely be Taylor and Carter. They are best buds, and Carter is the town’s golden boy, whereas Taylor is the screw up in comparison. They could switch roles for a night or embrace their perceived images. Whatever floats their boat.

Someone is too scared to even attend the Halloween party. Who is it?

Dustin might be an option here, but not because he is scared of Halloween, and instead because he is having a tough time with the social judgment going on in town. He just doesn’t want to expose himself to all the stares and whispers, my poor baby boy.

Who overdoses on Halloween candy and ends up sick?

Lando – cause he is a kid and has no restraint!

Which character is most likely to place a curse/hex on someone and who would they curse?

Right now, I just imagine Liv inviting all the girls over and they’d get into some sort of Light as a Feather kind of trouble and … it wouldn’t be intentional, but Liv would definitely be the one who messed up something that would set off the trouble.


I TAG THEE

I don’t know who of my lovely writing buddies is currently up for the challenge, so this tag is up for grabs! Don’t hesitate to link back to my post, so I can see your answers too!


If you are interested in more write tags, here’s a list of the ones I created:

What did you think of my answers? Would you like more updates on my writing, especially with NaNoWriMo around the corner? Let’s talk!

The Quarantine Write Tag

As I mentioned last week, I kind of want Friday to be the designated day for tags. However, I never said it had to be a book tag, so, I am introducing to you the Quarantine Write Tag! (How terribly timely, right?)

In the past, I have created several posts of this sort, such as the Winter Is HereValentine’s Day, Life Choices and Milestones Write Tag. Basically, I wanted to provide a fun exercise for fellow writers to explore their characters some more, even if it meant placing them in an entirely unrelated setting to their story. I always quite enjoyed them and if you think this could be something for your project, please feel free to do this as well! This time, I wanted to place our characters in the middle of this terrible pandemic. How would they act and who is most likely to do XY – that’s what the questions below are for!

Now, you may wonder why I am doing this, especially since I haven’t done a write tag on this blog in years. Oh well, I decided to join Camp NaNoWriMo on a whim to continue working on my #witchyWIP. A couple of people already know the story, but it has been put on hold for over a year. Right now, I am posting the chapters I have worked on, on this site! It’s a “secret” WordPress blog that I have created to work on my writing and still share it with people. The posts are currently password protected, but if you are curious about it, just let me know and I will find a way to get you that password! (I swear, I am not super selective about who gets one or not, I just want to have some overview over who accesses the posts for now!)

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    I still struggle with having a polished version of the blurb for this #witchyWIP. I mean, I don’t even have a title yet … but let’s try:When 6-year-old August enters Rosalie’s life, she has no idea just how much the girl will change her entire family’s fate. Being the last one of a powerful but destructive magical lineage, she links herself to Rosa’s youngest son, binding them even beyond this life. A scandal for the entire community! But what really happened to August and will they ever uncover all the mysteries surrounding her without getting destroyed themselves? Only a tale that spans decades will tell.

  • This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Which character is most likely to help out their elderly and vulnerable neighbors during the crisis? OR which of your characters has an essential job (or would have if they didn’t live in a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi/whatever different world) and brave the outside on the daily?

August and Josh are sort of a package deal on this one, which makes it hard, because you need to keep a secure distance from one another in public. But August would probably take care of the neighbors, while Josh would work as a nurse or in a care facility. I could totally see that being a profession he’d be interested in.

Who is your go to character for TV and movie recommendations? (As they most likely spend all their time binge-watching shows already!)

A character that may seem out of left field, but Cole. He’s Mirabella’s husband and they both take August into their home and eventually become her parents. Cole is a quiet soul as well as a homebody and would enjoy talking about nothing but TV.

Tell us about the first character who would go slightly mad staying inside for too long?

Again, I have to mention two people here. Willow and Wren, the twins, are a force of nature and not to be tamed. Having to stay inside sounds like torture to them.

How does your most extrovert and your most introvert character handle the crisis?

Who IS my most extrovert character? Maybe Rosalie? She’d hate this altogether, because she needs to stay busy like her twin girls. Usually she jets from one appointment to the next and would therefore have a hard time coming to terms with this. All other possibly ambivert to introvert characters would be fine … unless they live with Rosalie and the twins. That just sounds stressful to me.

Which of your characters is a prepper and would have been ready if this had been a zombie apocalypse?

Mirabella likes to have things planned in life, so I presume she’d have a plan for this as well. You know, just in case!

Who got panicked and bought everything in bulks (despite reassurances that markets would not run out)?

I actually can’t see anyone panicking like that. They are all witches, they’d handle this somehow else … right?

If there is a character who might be hard to convince that the virus and its dangers are real, who would it be? Why?

I think Rosalie is stubborn and as a witch she’d probably think that they’d be immune or find some workaround. BUT caution is always better and I’d like to think she wouldn’t endanger anyone, she’s not a villain after all.

Who would organise all the zoom-group chats to make sure their friends and family stayed connected? 

My pure puppy boy Josh would be in charge of that! Not only is he good with human gadgets, but he just likes it when everyone gets along and stays in touch.

BONUS: Make an aesthetic of your main character bundling up at home!

I would read this as Josh and August doing the things we all do these days. Binge TV, read books, cook more at home and try to come up with silly things that make us laugh. Plus, appreciating the people we have with us and that make us happy.

I TAG THEE

Please, do NOT feel obliged to do this!! I just thought I’d get the ball rolling my tagging a couple folks:

I hope you enjoyed this tag and that it offered some sort of brief entertainment. If you liked it, please don’t hesitate to share it, so that a lot of people will discover it and let us in on their own stories to tell!

The Rising Author Tag

I wasn’t actually tagged for this, but I saw The Rising Author Tag over at Beth @Reading Every Night and thought it would be really fun to take part. There are some definite rules to this, which I am not sure I will 100% comply to, but I still want to try my best.

RULES

  • No tagging back
  • Tag four people
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Come up with 10 new questions

QUESTIONS FROM BETH’S TAG

What is your current WIP about, and what’s its status? (ie. plotting, writing, editing, etc.)

This is already starting out more difficult than I thought, because I am working on several WIPs at the same time. Well, I guess I have neglected Arcadia a bit these past couple of months, but you all already know quite a lot about it anyway. So for the sake of making this post easier (and also to talk about something new), I am going to stick to the infamous #witchyWIP for this one.
It’s in the very early stages of writing, somewhere in the middle of chapter 12 to be exact, and about a family of witches who take in a girl who’s coven was eradicated for yet unknown reasons. The girl’s family was very powerful, so they are all cautious and scared about what she might be capable of and things get even trickier when she and the youngest son of the family perform a (forbidden) binding spell that ties them together forever. It starts from her childhood on and is told from other people’s POV but is meant to ultimately turn into her own POV as soon as she’s an adult. (I am working on a pitch that will make it sound more interesting – promise!)

Do you plot things out and/or outline, or just figure it out as you write?

I am someone who very much enjoys figuring out things as I go along, but for this one I have to plan ahead a little bit, because I am terrible with timelines and WILL mess them up if given the chance (Arcadia is living testimony of that).

What are some book ideas you want to write in the future?

FUTURE!? I have three unfinished WIPs and one finished one that needs desperate editing. I am going to try my best to stick to the current things before getting new ideas. However … one day I would like to write a contemporary YA book about a girl from Europe who goes on an exchange semester in the US (write about what you know and whatnot).

Out of the characters you’ve written so far, who are your favourites?

This is like asking a parent to pick a favourite child – HOW DARE YOU! But … if I must … I love my little confused but rational wolf girl aka Kasia from Arcadia.

What’s your writing routine, if any? (ie. snacks, music, time of day, location, etc.)

No real routine comes to mind when I think about me writing. I do prefer to have music on, sometimes even putting certain songs on repeat for certain chapters, but I have also had days where I needed complete silence. I’d say it all depends

Show your WIP’s aesthetic in images or words (or both)!

I think this might just be the project I have the least visual idea of, but here you go:

Bonus aesthetics for the other WIPs:

Arcadia
Dreamer
Break Up Buddy

What (or who) motivates you to write?

Honestly, it’s just everyone who ever read a snippet (or more) of my work and told me they liked it. Every single person who got invested in the fate of my characters. By now, that group of people I trust to share my projects with has grown far bigger than I initially thought possible and I hope you all know who you are because you are the best!!!

What do you find is the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

Easiest – having that scene in your head that needs to get written down no matter what. It’s okay if it doesn’t turn out right, but you just need to let the words out. I adore those moments because I have such a clear mental image of what I want to say.

Hardest – just generally sticking with a project, seeing it through when the going gets tough and you might get stuck at certain parts of the story.

What genre will you never try, and why?

It’s very unlikely that I will ever write historical fiction, because I hate research and doing those kind of stories without research is just … strange.

Share a tiny (or large) snippet/excerpt of your writing, if you’re comfortable!

This is the entire opening chapter if you like a real glimpse:

And here are two very random bits:

I hope you enjoyed those snippets! Definitely let me know what you think!

MY QUESTIONS

So, I am not sure I got this right, but I am also supposed to create 10 questions? Am I supposed to answer them myself as well? Does the next person only answer mine? Since I am confusion and I really like the questions I found on Beth’s tag, I am going to pass those on to the people I’ll tag.

I TAG THEE

Marie | Caro | The Orang-utan Librarian | Rami | WHOEVER WANTS TO DO THIS TAG

What are your thoughts on this? Did you enjoy another sneak peek into my writing life? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

Writing Life: Sharing Your Work in Progress

I’ve hinted at maybe doing a post about the ups and downs of sharing your work in progress in my NaNoWriMo update from last week, so I hope you are up for some insights on this topic! First off, I want to start by pointing out that I don’t mean to say that everyone should share their WIPs, whether it be in public or in private. I understand that not every writer feels comfortable, ready or willing to share their story in the early stages and that is perfectly alright! You do you and always follow your gut! This is just my personal experience.

              

Writing was always a lonely task to me. Of course, I got to meet all these wonderful characters for the first time and they miraculously somehow came from my brain, which was always incredibly hard to believe. I feel pure excitement whenever I dive into a new story, but at the same time I just want to share that with SOMEONE out there. Every time, I kept a story to myself, I started to procrastinate hard at some point until I was lacking motivation to continue at all. This is clearly an issue concerning lack of discipline on my part, but I found a way to counteract that by sharing my work as I go along with friends, family and sometimes even strangers. And when I say I share my work, I am not talking official beta readers or critique partners, but just people who may or may not comment on what they just read. Obviously, as I mentioned in my opening statement, this is not for everyone so here are a couple pros and cons of the experience:

THE PROS

  • The absolute best motivation I have ever found to continue writing is the constant encouragement of strangers as well as friends who have read and loved my words. They want to know how the story continues, so I want to keep providing them with entertainment and answers to questions as well as new mysteries as I go along. I truly adore everyone who has ever taken the time to read what I have written. It’s not perfect and I appreciate that they stuck with me nonetheless.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to stay objective as a writer. I encourage all my readers to give me suggestions if they notice something that isn’t quite right and I have realised that my first instinct is to get defensive (but that’s the beauty of being online, you don’t have to respond asap and that feeling can go away), but then I can see the value in having a fresh set of eyes on my writing. You don’t HAVE to take all their suggestions into account, that’s not the point of it all, but it’s good to hear different opinions.

THE CONS

  • Sharing your work publicly involves a lot of trust, so you have to find a way that makes you feel safe in the process. There are various platforms that allow you to share your stories to a broader audience, like wattpad, where I uploaded all my current chapters for Arcadia and Dreamer (click on the titles to read the stories). There are guidelines among the community members that forbid copying content, but obviously nothing is ever foolproof. My current #witchyWIP isn’t on there, not because I have made bad experiences, but simply because I didn’t want to share it with all the world for now, but rather an exclusive circle of friends. I chose Google Docs for that, as it still allows people to comment and has great options for security purposes. It’s just a matter of finding the right platform that works for YOU!
  • Waiting for someone to read your work and actually react to it can be torture! People have lives and they don’t just wait in front of a screen to read my very random story updates. However, the longer the wait to hear from just about anyone is, the more the questions start to plague my mind – What if no one likes it? What if they don’t feel like they can tell me if they don’t like it? What if I shouldn’t have written that part? What if … None of that necessarily has to reflect on your story though. Sometimes it’s just a matter of lack of time and it’s also difficult to hold a reader’s interest if you don’t continue the story regularly. Like, I completely understand that some people might not want to wait a month for a new chapter.

In the end it all comes down to what feels right for you as a writer. Maybe you don’t want share your work until you’ve reached draft 15, but maybe you need that encouragement and interest from the outside to get through writing draft 1. Whichever type you are, I just know that I personally love nothing more than getting reactions be it in comments, people screaming at me in my DMs (always welcome by the way) or just sending me gifs and aesthetics for chapters. It’s what keeps me going and that’s why I am so grateful for all the people who take the time to read my work!


This is it from my little writing insight this time! Do you sometimes share your unfinished work? How are you all doing on your WIPs? Who is still going strong on their NaNo project? Let’s chat!

Writing Life: Switching Between Ideas

It has literally been over a year since I’ve last used this feature or the previous version that was Writing Insights on the blog. While I have created a couple of write tags, I’ve given very little insight into my writing process and struggles I am facing lately. So, I am here today to talk about how I cope with several story ideas swarming my head, even when I want to focus on one of them alone. I feel like this topic isn’t just applicable for writers though, but also for bloggers who have a gazillion post ideas.

SHOULD YOU SWITCH BETWEEN IDEAS?

I don’t think there is any one way to answer this question. Some people need structure and focus to work on a single project, others need the rush of multitasking to get things done. Everyone is different and that’s a good thing. However, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for choosing to work on newer and shinier projects once the going gets hard on old favourites. Is it my fault for being so easily distracted or is it healthy to get things out of the way that seem to cloud your judgment and motivation for what you’ve been working on thus far?

Let me give you an example! As many of you know, I have been working on my story Arcadia (details about it here) for several years now. I may not be the fastest writer, I may not even do the best job I could with this first draft, but I am being the most dedicated I could be. At least that’s what I thought. As of late, my thoughts have become increasingly occupied by what I skillfully dubbed the #witchyWIP for now. I didn’t have a plot idea, I barely even had names for the characters, but these random scenes just kept invading my mind over and over until I wrote them down.

Here’s the first chapter/prologue that came as a result from that:

And after that, I just couldn’t really stop? I didn’t have answers to the questions I was asking myself with this story, but I sure as heck wanted to find out where it was all going. While I am usually very much a pantser for all my projects, I found myself outlining what could be (even though I am sure it’s not nearly as detailed or coordinated as other people do their outlines) and making notes in all my notebooks and on my phone whenever inspiration struck. So, while I still love Arcadia, Kasia and Dyson and everyone in the story very much, I just can’t seem to focus on that particular story right now. Does that mean I am going to abandon it altogether? Of course not! It’s a story I very much intend to finish and since I was going at snail-speed anyway, it doesn’t seem like it would make too much of a difference if I jotted down a couple scenes for something new in the meantime. Still, the guilt remains

For now, I have decided to just go with the flow and continue to write for whatever story idea I feel most inspired to work on. With everything that is going on outside of blogging, we will see how much time and energy I will have in the weeks to come anyway. But I would like to hear from you fellow bloggers and writers:

Do you get distracted by newer and shinier ideas as well sometimes? How do you balance wanting to explore something fresh, while continuing to work on your old projects at the same time? Do you get things done or gradually forget about what you previously worked on once a new idea comes to mind? I would love to discuss this topic with you in the comments below! 

The Life Choices Write Tag

I said I would do a new Write Tag this month and for once I am really keeping my promise! If you have missed previous installments of this very irregular feature, you can check out the posts for the Winter Is Here, Valentine’s Day and Milestones Write Tag by clicking on their titles. You are also more than welcome to join in if you haven’t yet! I have once again tried to steer clear of seasonal tags, because I want people to be able and do them whenever they feel like and am therefore happy to present the Life Choices Write Tag! It’s all about those little moments in life that define us and in this case hopefully our characters. Let’s get to know them better!

Once again, I will be doing this tag myself by answering the questions with my WIP (Work in Progress) ArcadiaWhile I have made some important decisions (like it is definitely going to be a duology and not a stand-alone), there’s still loads of work to do. The heat has made it a little tough to think straight, so I haven’t really been working on it. I am hoping this tag will motivate me again.

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    Kasia and Dyson have known each other their entire lives, their paths intertwining at every crossroad. So forgetting he ever existed doesn’t make any sense to Kasia and neither does finding out about the magical beings that took him away from her. Now, with the help of some allies with motives of their own, she will do everything she can to get him back, not knowing if either one of them will ever be the same after all is said and done.
    You can check out this post to find out more about Arcadia!
  • This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Where does your main character (MC) live? Were they born there or did they move to that place?

Kasia and Dyson moved to Vancouver together after they both finished university. Their families live in Ontario, but it’s not really an issue for them. First it’s not an insurmountable distance if you want to see them for holidays and second, they felt it was more important to start someplace new get trapped in their old routines after graduation.

Does your MC have a dream career? What (if anything) stops them from pursuing it?

Dyson’s greatest dream was to become a sort of mix between Indiana Jones and Noah Flynn from the Librarian movies. His knack for studying, but also outdoor adventure ultimately did lead to him becoming an archaeologist. The actual excavation sites are not nearly as exciting as the movies made them look, but he soon found himself gravitating towards teaching and jobs at museums anyway. (So, in short, he pursued his dream career and ended up loving it!)

Did any of your characters ever go against their parents/family’s wishes? How did that change their relationship?

Well, Dyson did when he didn’t find a “reasonable” job in his family’s eyes. They came around eventually and never truly held it against him, especially since Kasia went the more sensible route and became an accountant. That way not both of them had precarious jobs, but it still elicits the occasional eye roll at family gatherings.

If faced with their greatest fear – would your MC try to overcome it or run the other way?

Kasia’s greatest fear (aside from loosing Dyson) are heights, which I can very much relate to. As long as someone (again, preferable Dyson) is there to hold her hand though, she’ll at least always try.

Did any character have to cut a person out of their life? Why?

If I may refer everyone to chapter 9 of Arcadia … I don’t even feel like I should talk about this again. I’ve made a lot of people sad with that one. (Click here to read Arcadia if you haven’t yet, but want to.)

What is your main character’s biggest regret?

I shared an aesthetic the last time, of a little road trip (that probably won’t make it into the book) and I think there is a certain kind of regret involved with not actually going through with it, especially since it’s so uncertain if they will be able to now.

Which character is most likely going to help a stranger, even if they got nothing out of it in return?

This is someone a lot of you don’t know at all or at least not very well yet, but Casper would be my answer. I wanted to say Findlay at first, but I want to give some recognition to Casper too. He has a hard shell but a soft inside. He would never get a “most friendly” award, but if someone actually needed help, I don’t doubt that he would show up.

If your character got good/bad news, who would be the person they first tell?

Kasia and Dyson would call each other and after that Robyn. Georgie would call Fin, although I am not 100% sure he would call her first in return. I am really looking forward to figuring out who Leo would call. Haven’t found an answer yet though.

BONUS: Make an aesthetic for your MCs life if there had been no obstacles (money, geographical, etc.) and they had everything they wanted. (It is up to you if you want to explain it or not!)

I am going to leave this open for interpretation for now, but give me your best guess in the comments!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked the tag and if you did, please don’t hesitate to spread the word!!! People have so many stories in them and I hope this helps them get to know their characters.

Valentine’s Day Write Tag!

It’s time for another tag for writers! Since the Winter Is Here one worked quite well, I thought I’d do one for the upcoming Valentine’s Day as well. As per usual, I will be answering my own questions with the characters from Arcadia (more about that here) and hope you’ll enjoy!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    Kasia and Dyson have known each other their entire lives, their paths intertwining at every crossroad. So forgetting he ever existed doesn’t make any sense to Kasia and neither does finding out about the magical beings that took him away from her. Now, with the help of some allies with motives of their own, she will do everything she can to get him back, not knowing if either one of them will ever be the same after all is said and done.
    You can check out this post to find out more about Arcadia!
  • Don’t use just one character for all answers if possible!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?

Dyson and Kasia are a couple and whenever they spent Valentine’s Day together, they’d have breakfast in bed with fresh strawberries and chocolate banana pancakes (which Dyson cooked). There were no special plans during the day, but they always made sure to get each other a ridiculously non-romantic Valentine’s Day card and have a quiet dinner together as well.

Who has no shame about going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?

I think Findlay couldn’t care less about what other people think. I doubt he’d actually get a table at a restaurant, but he isn’t too aware of other people’s pitiful stares and such.

One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?

This is cheesiness only Dyson could plan for Kasia.

Is there a character who would organise an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?

Georgie would happily organise a party like that, because she don’t need no man/woman/society-forcing-a-construct-on-her-for-what-to-do-with-her-life. Galentine’s Day is her jam instead.

What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?

Hands down, Dyson had the best of best gifts for Kasia when he gave her a personalised leather-bound notebook. He wrote a heartfelt inscription for her on the first page and had her name and a favourite quote engraved on the outside. He is such a good boyfriend, I swear I would steal him away from her if I could.

Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?

This is something Leo, my precious darling, would definitely do. He has the best of hearts and even if he doesn’t have a sweetheart himself, it wouldn’t stop him from spreading the love with others. Also, who could say no to this cutie?

What are your main character’s favourite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)

Those are Kasia’s picks, but Dyson likes them too and if he says otherwise he is lying, because he is a big mushy softie inside.

Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?

Kasia, because chocolate.

Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of date?

From the top of my head, I can’t really think of anyone, but maybe Robyn. She strikes me as the kind of person who doesn’t like to be by herself a lot. Which is fine, you know, but some things you have to do yourself. Thankfully, Valentine’s Day is not one of those things.

Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

Even though Georgie may not celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t treat herself!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked the tag and if you did, please, spread the word!!! I know I cut it close to Valentine’s Day, but maybe there’s still some people out there who’d like to do the tag.

Winter Is Here Write Tag!

Guys, I am nervous! This is the first time I am making my own tag and I really just hope you will enjoy it. First things first, how did I get the idea to make this Winter Is Here Write Tag? Well, well, back in October I got tagged for the All Hallows Write Tag and I had so much fun with it. I don’t remember ever getting the chance to answer a tag with my own characters before, so I figured we needed more of that in the blogosphere. Let’s dive into what I cooked up!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post(I want to see all your beautiful answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    (Just copying that from the other tag because I am terrible at pitching my own story …) It’s about a couple having to find their way back to each other after some magical beings messed with their lives (aka kidnapped the boyfriend into another world). Getting tangled up in an ancient struggle for power, they have to be careful to not get sucked in too deep before it is too late.
    I am working on that pitch. It’s not at all where I want it to be yet. You can check out the first 10+ chapters here if you are interested. They are a much better representation of the story.
  • Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Which protagonist is most likely to break into Christmas song first? Bonus: What song?

Georgie always feels like a showgirl to me and I can definitely just see her singing randomly during the day, not even noticing that she switched from regular songs to Christmas ones.

It’s the first snow of the season, who would immediately book a ticket to a hot beach location?

Again, Georgie would probably prefer not having to deal with the cold in the city and rather spend it at some luxurious beach resort. Since she doesn’t have the actual money though, it’s not like she’s really going to go anywhere.

Which character believed in Santa (or a mystical equivalent) for the longest time?

Just thinking about how easily Kasia trusted in Georgie and Findlay, how easily she could accept the whole magic-is-real-and-you-have-been-cursed-situation, I just feel like she had that innocent belief in herself the longest.

Who is most likely to build a blanket fort and go into hibernation with books, Netflix and tea/hot cocoa/coffee?

This basically screams Kasia! Our girl would never pass up on tea to begin with and the coziness is like her essence of her being.

Image source: Clover Kate

Who would be the first to start a snowball fight and then get really competitive about it?

Alaya, while she can be soft when she wants to be, is more of a confrontational and competitive type in her “work life”. So, I could see her build an entire snow fortress and be all strategic about something as essentially non-important as a snowball fight.

Who buys their Christmas presents super last minute?

This gentleman right here may have something sweet planned for his one true love, but Dyson would definitely wing the presents for most people in his life.

There’s a local snowman competition, who would be the best sculptor? What would they build?

In my head Findlay has an artistic gene but since he doesn’t do anything just for fun, he would want to wow the judges with whatever he created. Since he’s not always as up to date as he likes to think, I can imagine him attempting an Olaf look-alike (from Frozen).

Image result for olaf snowman real

If someone were to organize a Secret Santa event, who would it be?

My dear Kasia hates responsibility, but she’d rather do something herself than see someone else do it “the wrong way”. She might snap at someone at some point and get super stressed and worried about people not having gifts for their assigned partners, but she will organize it (even if it will be the death of her).

Someone refuses to leave the house unless strictly necessary because of the cold. Who is it?

Arcadia, at least the part she lives in, is mostly warm all year round. I have the inkling of a feeling that Alaya wouldn’t appreciate the cold.

Who puts style before comfort and would rather freeze in fashionable clothes than be warm but not on trend? Bonus: Add a winter aesthetic for the character!

Georgie is my Queen of Style. Her – 100% her!

I TAG THEE

I hope you liked this tag and will spread the word! I would really love to read what other people have to say about their characters!