Basically, every week there will be some kind of prompt or questions to answer about writing, and I will feature my answers to said prompt or questions here. I'm excited for this because in the past it had been fun and also helpful to explore my own writing and characters and stories. In addition, I'm hoping this will help me keep up with writing weekly on this blog. It's been harder than I thought to keep this blog updated.
In addition to A Novel Idea, I'm also participating in another 100 for 100 challenge. Since June 1, I have written at least 100 words every day, and I will continue to do so over the next 100 days. I know, it's crazy! But at the end of those 100 days, I will have written at least 10,000 words. My goal is to edit parts one and two of my current WIP, A Girl and Her Dragon, and finally finish part three, which had been my goal for May but I started following a rabbit trail and I got distracted by other things... and well, it's not finished yet. So I'm hoping to finish up minor edits for parts one and two during June, work on part three during July's Camp Nanowrimo, and then see what's next with the days left. (I have no idea when the 100 days will end. And I'm too lazy to count it up.)
Anyways, back to A Novel Idea. To start off, the prompt is to share about our personal writing style and what we like to write. (If you're looking for a fun version of A Novel Idea to read this week, check out Sky's. She did a history of her writing journey, and I loved it! It was actually hilarious to realize how similar my own writing history is to hers. Grandman encouraging writing, short self-illustrated stories stapled together, writing stories on old computers using Word Pad, Narnia fanfics... Fun stuff.)
My Writing Style
I have always had a hard time understanding what "writing style" means. From "writing voice" to "writing process" to a hundred other terms related to "writing," I've never been good at explaining what those mean. (Don't you dare tell my English professors. I spent four years studying this stuff, and I still have no idea what I'm doing at times.) So I'm not sure what my writing style would be. I think for every story I write, it's different. Some are first person POV, some are third person. Some are present tense while most are past tense. There are stories that switch views, there are stories that have flashbacks intermingled with the main story line, there are stories divided into parts, and there are stories that don't even have chapters. My writing style changes with every new idea.
However, my writing process usually does not change. Basically, I get an idea. I write it down SOMEWHERE (a random piece of paper, my palm, a writing notebook, a facebook message to someone else) in order to remember it. Then I usually let the idea simmer for a while--or not. Sometimes I just start scrawling the words across a page or ferociously typing it on a computer. (By ferociously, I do mean ferociously.) I might make a Pinterest board. I might write ideas down or compile snippets of scenes/ideas as I think of them. I daydream a lot. I usually don't plan much. I just kind of let the story take me away and see what happens and who shows up and what the plot ends up being.
(Look, I made a graphic!)
Basically, I'm a pantser. I'm not a gardener though. A "gardener" places things to lead the story/plants to grow in a certain direction or whatnot and prunes things to make them have shape or not to overgrow too far. But I don't do that. I'm more of the person sitting out in the middle of the jungle watching everything take over and tangle up. It's great fun.
What I Like to Write
Well, the obvious answer is: stories. As in novels. As in I've tried to write essays, poetry, and even short stories, but those don't sweep me away or take siege over my brain like novels do. I've definitely written essays, poems, and short stories that I adore, and every once and a while I'm suddenly inspired to write something different, but for the most part, I like to write novels. Specifically, I like to write fantasy novels.
The same goes for genre though. While I mostly write fantasy (usually including dragons), I have delved into other genres including science-fiction/cyberpunk and contemporary fiction. (I know, you're shocked, aren't you? But I did write an entire contemporary novel once.) However, I stick to fantasy for a number of reasons. I've actually written an essay about why. But mainly it's because fantasy gives me hope--just like Samwise Gamgee's speech in The Two Towers film suggests:
Fantasy gives me hope that there's something worth fighting for in this world. More often than not, books and fictional stories--mostly fantasy ones--taught me more lessons and gave me more hope than I ever received during real life or while reading contemporary stories. While I think any story can have meaning and teach us something, I clung to fantasy and the elements that spring from the genre--things we don't normally have in our world right now--and in turn, I want to be that same beacon of hope and light in our world with my own writing.
I like to write a lot of different things. I like to write a lot of different stories. I don't have a clear writing style, and sometimes I hope from genre-to-genre or I blend genres together in a different sort of way. But basically, I like to write. I need to write. And that gives me hope.
Why do you write?