Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Morning Meme

So, I realize things have been a bit on the “heavy” side here at Candid Karina, which is all well and good, but I thought for a Monday morning (okay, fine I realize by the time I hit publish on this it’ll be afternoon), I’d go with something a bit on the lighter side.

I heard about this Meme from the lovely leader of SheWhoBlogs, Frances. She, in turn, grabbed it from Janie, and I thought it seemed like a fun one to do, so here we go.

It is what the name of it says it is...a meme about your "writing style", just questions about the same. So, without further ado, here are my answers.

1. Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both?

Both. My blogging is mostly non-fiction (though sometimes, you have to wonder, don’t you?), but then there’s my poetry, and the great American novel I’ve been working on for decades now.

2. Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook?

No. I haven’t kept a journal in many, many years. Somewhere along the line it stopped being important to me to diary my thoughts and daily activities. I’m actually a little sad about that, it would be nice to be able to go back and reflect on what I was feeling at certain times in the last few years. And yet, even now, knowing I feel this way, I can’t bring myself to journal now either. But I blog, so I suppose that covers that, doesn’t it? I don’t keep a writing notebook either, but at any given time you will find random writings on spare pieces of paper, or any of the dozens of notebooks I have lying around my home or office.

3. If you write fiction, do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing? Do you find books on plotting useful or harmful?

It depends. Most of the time, I must admit that my characters write themselves. I don’t usually start with a “goal” in mind, and develop the story from there. Usually I start writing, letting the character speak to me of where it is they are going, what it is they are doing, and go from there. On the rare occasion that I do have a planned action, conflict, motivation, I find myself usually blocked at some point, not able to reach that destination. It seems that if I already know the destination of the character, I lose interest in the voyage. If, however, I have no idea where we’re headed, I take much greater pleasure in sitting back and enjoying the ride. As far as the books, I don't find them harmful, but I don't find them useful either. For me writing is "organic" and no books on "how to" can help me. I can't follow instructions on something that to me is just like breathing...I just do it.

4. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?

I am both actually. I’m a procrastinator by nature, in everything I do, pretty much. But when I get some inspiration to write, I usually have to drop everything and do it right then in there, for fear of letting it escape.

5. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?

“Short bursts of creative energy” pretty much sums me up. That’s probably why I find it nearly impossible to finish any story longer than a few pages, and why poetry works so well for me. I have a really hard time with sitting with the same idea for long periods of time. I think that’s where my procrastination sets in.

6. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?

I am a “whenever I have a chance” writer. The time of day doesn’t really affect my creativity, it’s more when the muse strikes, and I happen to be near a computer, or a pen and paper.

7. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?

I don’t think I can write in complete silence. The chaos of the world around me is my greatest inspiration, so I need some hustle and bustle around me in order to focus. That said, when I am finalizing any particular piece of work, I need complete silence and concentration.

8. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)

Mostly computer, sometimes by hand (usually only poetry by hand though).

9. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write?

Hmm…I think I answered this question pretty much in number 3, because for the most part, the way it works with my character’s goals and motivations is how it works with my endings as well. But, this is very different when I write non-fiction. I’d say that 95% of the time writing a piece of non-fiction (an article, a blog post, etc.) I’ve already figured out my conclusion, my point, my ending, and a lot of times, my final sentence, pretty much before I’ve written my first word.

10. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?

Not usually, no. I write from my heart and mind and my crazy imagination, not what’s on the book shelves. However, what’s going on in my life GREATLY influences all my writing, not just the non-fiction, but my fiction as well.

11. Editing/Revision - love it or hate it?

For the most part, I actually enjoy it. There’s a sort of pleasure in going back over words you wrote “in the heat of the moment” and rereading them almost as a stranger, to realize what works and what doesn’t. To see those moments of genius you had, those words that are pure brilliance, that you can’t even fathom where they came from, and then to be able to change the not so brilliant word choices, the pieces that don’t make sense even to your eyes upon a second glance. I think it’s part of the art form of writing, and I love it.

Well, there you go. That was fun. I'm not tagging anyone, but I'd love to read yours if you decide to do it, so if you do, please let me know, okay?


Anonymous said...

I like your answer to number 6 - “whenever I have a chance” writer - I think that's most people, I can't imagine setting up a plan/schedule to write

I also write with noise around me but also had to have silence to edit/finalize a piece

I done my before I read yours, if you care to read my answers - here's the link

Rebecca said...

Hmmm, 4, 5 and 6 are all the way I am. That's why I keep a notebook with me always, because sometimes a thought or sentence will pop into my head and if I don't write it down it'll be lost forever.

Okay, and I know I suck that I'm totally behind on my blog-reading... I'll be back, it just may not be in a timely manner :)

Unknown said...

Wow, we are a lot alike. :) I'm a whenever I can find the time blogger too among other things. :)

Anonymous said...

It's always so interesting to see how the minds of others think. I think I'm a whenever I have the chance type writer as well...although recently I haven't been taking the time to make chances. Workin' on it...

qualcosa di bello said...

i really need to get to this meme in the down time of winter (not much of that lately 'round here!)...

you've got me thinking with hardcopy journeling stopped just before blogging began. an interesting parallel, isn't it? & i think it's a bit sad but i cannot seem to pick up the pen & begin again either.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I'll put this meme on my to-do list. Might take a few weeks for me to do it, but I'll definitely let you know.

I would say blogging is a newish form of journalling. I was a diary keeper, and now I'm blogger.

Not all bloggers are fiction writers, and not all fiction writers enjoy blogging. In fact, I know of quite a few fiction writers who absolutely hate to blog, but do so because they've recognized how many book readers are also blog readers.

Great post, Karina - always so much fun to learn about you.