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29 June 2014 @ 11:56 am
Writerly Meme  
Saw this on tumblr, and it seemed interesting. I took out two questions that were a bit stupid and kept the rest.

1. What setting have you written that you would love to go and spend time in, in real life?
2. Are you like one of your characters? Which one? In what way?
3. Would you trade places with one of your characters? Who? Why or why not?
4. What has writing done for you personally?
5. What do you hope your writing does for your readers?
6. Does art imitate life? Or does life imitate art?
7. Describe your drafting and writing process.
8. Do you have any writerly advice for your fellow writers? Show off. Don’t be shy. Tell us what you do well and how you do it.



1. What setting have you written that you would love to go and spend time in, in real life?

I think a nice holiday at the Holmes beach house wouldn't be too bad. Perhaps not when they're around, maybe I could rent it for a couple of weeks during the off-season. I doubt it would be very relaxing with the family members there. I based it loosely on the feeling I get being at the cottage we go to, so I have expectations of it being very peaceful and relaxing.

2. Are you like one of your characters? Which one? In what way?

I imagine there's a lot of myself sprinkled through my characters, especially my OCs. I gave both Mal Dresden and Abby Watson a lot of my childhood quirks, and Molly has quite a few of my worries and concerns and shyness. Sherlock has a bit of my feeling out of place and having a brain that doesn't quiet when you want it. Q has my eye problem. Fay Dresden has my hair woes. I try to draw from real life as much as possible.

3. Would you trade places with one of your characters? Who? Why or why not?

My characters are always dealing with such crap, I don't think I'd want to trade places with any of them. There is a high chance something horrible would happen before anything good did. Maybe Molly, just for a night. So I could have Alec, just for a bit. That would be nice.

4. What has writing done for you personally?

It keeps my brain from overloading with ideas. And since I have a lot of chronic health issues, and have to be a bit housebound, it's helped me connect with friends and interesting people I might not have met otherwise, and given me a social outlet, as well as a creative one.

5. What do you hope your writing does for your readers?

I try to write hopeful stories, so I would hope someone comes to read one of my stories and leaves feeling a bit better about life or having had a chuckle or two.

6. Does art imitate life? Or does life imitate art?

For me, art imitates life, as I draw so much on what's going on in my life or my own personal experiences. Story ideas tend to come from little tiny things that happen or have happened that I wonder how my characters would deal with.

7. Describe your drafting and writing process.

I write in Notepad. I don't know why, but I always have. I write until I run out of words, and then I save the draft and work on something else. I usually have three-to-four stories on the go at once, and I rotate through, adding things as I come up with ideas. I research as I go along. Sometimes the research gives me different ideas. When a story is finished, I leave it overnight, and then read it again in the morning to make sure the last bits still work. Then I copy/paste it into Open Office and run autoformating on it, to make all the quotation marks appear properly. I run spellcheck (which is usually when I discover I've used a word that doesn't exist in British English, and have to find a replacement). I then copy/paste into a text-to-speech programme and listen to it. This helps find the missing words or wrong tenses. Then, I post it, and check obsessively until the first comment comes in, thinking of all the ways it might be a horrible story as I wait. Once I've posted, I move the Notepad file to my Completed folder, and pick up something new to work on.

8. Do you have any writerly advice for your fellow writers? Show off. Don’t be shy. Tell us what you do well and how you do it.

All right. Well, people seem to like the way I write children. It's hard to advise on something you don't really know you're doing. I don't mean to be good at that. I'm just better at it than I am at other parts of story telling. Such as the part where there's a plot. Or the part where there's bad guys. So, here are some tips, I guess:

1. They aren't small adults. The wonderful thing about children is that they are children. That's what's interesting about them. They can amuse themselves with things we find boring. They don't accept that someone might not want to play a game with them. They don't understand the world, so everyday things are fuckin' awesome to them, or they relate them to a concept they understand that might not be accurate (such as Reed not getting how Molly is a wife and not a husband, because he has two dads. It's going to be drilled into him that Josh and Rupert are husbands not partners. His dads are married, not civil partnershipped. That's important to Josh and Rupert. So everyone must then be a husband.).

2. Remember what influences they have in their life, and who is a part of it. What's going to be normal to them, what's going to be abnormal? What values have been emphasized? Abby Watson knows her periodic table because she spends time with Sherlock, but she doesn't know all her numbers yet. Fay Dresden is nonchalant about magic because her dad is a wizard. Q is totally excited about spending time by himself because Sherlock is always around.

3. Looking at milestones in development is good, too. What's new about the age the child is at? Are they walking, talking, learning to read or write, at an age where they want to be just with their mum or don't want to share their toys? I watched a lot of youtube videos to get an idea of how three-year-old children speak, which was very helpful.

4. Sometimes, children are annoying. They aren't always precious and precocious. Sometimes they're unreasonable and screaming and getting in the way.

5. Who's narrating and how they view the child in question? John adores Abby, Sherlock loves her, but is also quicker to be annoyed by her. His language in regards to her isn't going to be as loving as John's is. Siger is going to be baffled by his children, Dora is going to be in control of them. Mycroft is indulgent toward his siblings, Sherlock finds Q a pest. The way the child is behaving might not change, but the way they seem to be behaving will change depending on who's viewing the behaviour.
 
 
 
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 29th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC)
The way the child is behaving might not change, but the way they seem to be behaving will change depending on who's viewing the behaviour.

SUCH a good point!

Maybe Molly, just for a night. So I could have Alec, just for a bit. That would be nice.

Hee, wouldn't we all?
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 29th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
SUCH a good point!

Thank you! It's something I've noticed as I tend to start with one POV and switch to another, sometimes within the fic or sometimes because one POV isn't working. I originally had Sherlock telling the story of looking after Abby when Mycroft comes to visit, and, because Sherlock wanted to seem in control and everything Abby was doing was proving he was not in control, she seemed like a total brat. When I switched to Mycroft's POV, she was mostly doing the same things, but Mycroft was like 'ah, I recognize and am comfortable with this behaviour', so she seemed like a normal kid. And that's why I like multiple POVs so much. :-P