Hello lovelies! I hope this Monday morn finds you hale, hearty, and happy! ❤
I for one have been feeling ethereally ecstatic over The King’s Daughters’ Writing Camp reaching 100 members this past Saturday! I am just so thrilled we’ve grown so much as we celebrate KDWC’s 1 year anniversary. We even have over 30 new girls this camp! (Signups are open all month long, so if you want to join, you can join anytime! ^_^) We also ended up having a dunking party Saturday night which was just a whole lot of crazy that I (sort of) accidentally started… XD >.> What’s really cool is we have members ranging from upper 40’s to girls not even in their teens, it’s so awesome seeing everyone interacting together and age isn’t a factor in our friendships. ^_^ <333
1) How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I have been officially/seriously writing since the summer of 2015 but I have always dabbled in writing my whole life, I just never felt competent enough to really pursue it until that summer (not that I actually felt competent, more that I quickly realized how much I loved writing). I always had this feeling that if the words didn’t come out just right on the first try that meant I wasn’t supposed to be a writer. Yeah, I laugh and shake my head at my past self’s innocence. She thought authors wrote their books in one go, sent them off to the publishers, and viola! they are now the owner of a published book. Now I realize it takes a ton of work to even get to sending your story out to beta-readers. And then if you go Indie you have to do all the work of self-publishing. Hehe, getting off tangent now, back to the question. As for when I considered myself a ‘writer’, well within the first two years I found a few writer’s blogs like K.M Weiland’s blog where I learned you are a writer the moment you pick up your pen or start typing on your keyboard and begin to tell a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction, no matter the genre, and it doesn’t even matter if your first draft genuinely sucks (mine did <.< *shudders*), you are a writer as long as you are writing. You don’t even have to write every day to be a writer, as long as the story lives in your mind and you keep coming back you are a writer. So, I considered myself a writer probably by the end of the first or the second year.
2) How/why did you start writing?
Ooh, this is one of my favorites to answer. I started writing when my little brother asked me to write my own story while we worked on his fanfic sequel to a book series we both loved. So I thought I’d just write a little something and show it to him and not do it anymore. Ha! That story kept growing and growing and I realized that hey, I like doing this, I really, really like doing this. I have always been a storyteller, my mom loves to tell the story of how before I could even talk I would tell stories with my cheerios, babbling for each piece of cereal on my finger and bobbing the one ‘talking’. After that I moved into the world of pretend where I lived in whatever show, movie, or book I wanted to, even some video games once I was old enough to play them. I’d always told my own stories within someone else’s storyworld, so when I realized that I could create my own storyworlds with characters of my own I fell in love and never looked back. Sad thing is, little bro has yet to read that story because I’ve yet to wrangle it into something readable…
3) What’s your favorite part of writing?
Characters. I love my characters and they are one of the easiest parts of writing for me. More than half the time they just show up and start telling me their story. Sometimes the plot comes first, but 9/10 times the characters come first and then reveal what their story is about. Though, now that I think about it, I think I generally get both at the same time, or at least one follows the other pretty quickly. My stories are usually very character driven and orientated, they create the plot. My characters are like my kids, my inky kids (or pixel kids). Even my villains, I created them and on some level, some far more hidden than others, they each have a part of me. Some of them hate me for what I put them through, others wish I would just leave them to their nefarious deeds, but there are a few that actually like me, though one in particular generally gets on my nerves when he insists on having me do something or informing me that changes are coming even though I’ve just spent the past few months trying to fix a plot element only to have it become obsolete now. *sigh* Characters, a writer’s unruly children, but still, we love them.
4) What’s your biggest writing struggle?
Ehehe, finishing a story. I tend to wind up in endless drafting because I’m still figuring out the story my WIP is trying to tell, even when I plot! You remember that story I started because of my little brother? I’m still trying to edit and revise that thing, it has changed several times over on what it wants to be. First it was some sort of Arabian fantasy, then it was a dark medieval story, and now, now I’m not exactly sure because some steampunk elements seem to be creeping in? The funny thing is though, pretty much all the characters have remained the same or at least kept their name and general personality. There have been a few changes to the characters though, two supposed villains have now switched sides leaving me to figure out how to fix the holes they left. So, um, summing that up, my biggest struggle is figuring out my process so I can finish a book and people can finally read my stories.
5) Do you write best at night or day?
Um, either? I prefer late night or early morning where I have the least amount of people awake and zero interruptions but I can generally write whenever I have spare time.
6) What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
I have three different workspaces, my desk in our living room, my standing desk in my bedroom, and my bed. ;p Oh, and sometimes I’ll write on the couch. Uh, yeah, I’ll just share a picture of my standing desk because my other desk is also my crafting station and is just a tad cluttered at the moment… *hides* And apparently my laptop no longer has the picture, so here’s my Instagram picture of it. XD
7) How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
Hahaha! I think by now y’all have picked up on the fact that I haven’t really ‘finished’ anything yet. The one short story I have finished now needs redoing after I learned something new in it’s sequel. But I did finish that short story in a month but it was barely 20,000 words so… *shrugs* I am hoping to finish the first draft of a short story I’m writing for KDWC’s hope-themed anthology really soon, but it’s only 5,000 words max, so yeah… XD What’s fun is that this short story is a sort of prequel to my very first story. It’s been so fun being back in this storyworld! I didn’t realize just how much I’ve missed it and my characters. (Don’t worry! I’m not abandoning Roses, Thorns, and Curses, I still plan on finishing that. But the deadline for this anthology is in August and time’s a ticking! Also, if you’d like to write a story for the anthology all you have to do is sign up for camp. 😉 )
8) How many projects do you work on at once?
Four? Five? I’ve lost track. But I’m now just focusing on the one and then after I’ve finished that one I’ll go back to RTC.
9) Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
I prefer writing hopeful endings. Where no matter if they are happy, sad, bittersweet, or something else, there is always hope to be found showing that there’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for. The stories that really matter.
10) List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
*rolls up sleeves* Here we go!
~ C.S. Lewis.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
~ Gail Carson Levine
~ Madeleine L’Engle
~ Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
~ Kathryn Lasky
~ Christopher Paolini
11) Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
Yeah, um no. My first drafts (second, third, fourth, etc.) are for my eyes only. I shudder at the thought of letting someone read my plot-hole riddled, typo infested, M E S S Y drafts. It’s safer for all involved if people only read a thoroughly revised and edited draft.
Or… at least, that’s what I would have answered just a few months ago, but recently I sent a few chapters as a birthday present to a dear friend and I also had some fellow students at YWW read a piece of my work for feedback. And you know what? The world didn’t end! XD Okay, dramatic much? Yes. But seriously, I wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not to say my writing still doesn’t need work, but my writing does have merit. I struggle with self-worth, so that worked itself into my writing. I knew I had the potential for good writing, but I didn’t think others would think my writing was good. I’m only sharing this to say that if you feel that your writing isn’t good enough to share, find some safe people who will be gentle in their critiques and you may be surprised just how much they’ll fangirl/boy over your work. ❤
12) What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
Yipe! DEEP question. Hmm… My ultimate goal is to one day be published, and I’m leaning more and more to Indie publishing. My ultimate dream is that people will love my stories as much as I do and that my stories will be used by God in whatever way He deems fit. If even just one person is touched by my stories, then I will be happy. (But I’ll be honest I do hope it reaches more than one, come on, don’t we all?)
13) If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
Not write? What is this nonsense? Oh, hypothetical, cool. I’d want to be an actress. BD
14) Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Yes. I have a sprawling fantasy/space opera/sci-fi series that stays safe tucked in my head and within it’s equally sprawling Pinterest board that I hope eventually makes sense. XD It’s not just that I don’t feel ready to attempt it yet, but that I already have three (possibly four if Dylan has his way) series that I’m alternately working on more or less at the same time. My main focus right now is my short story and then RTC and its subsequent books before I write something else. Or at least, that’s the plan. And we all know how plans can go… XD
15) Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
Almost all of them?? XD There are a few ideas I’ve had where I’ve even written down a few chapters before they sadly peter out. </3 I’m sad when that happens because I always fall in love with my original idea and it feels like it died. Maybe one day I can come back to these and revive them. But back to the question at hand, the story of my heart would be the very first WIP I ever stuck with and the one that started my writing journey, The Quest for the Cure. It’s undergone several title changes, but that was its original title and the one I always use when thinking of it. Right now, it’s sitting in the back of my laptop’s storage unit until I’m ready to begin rewriting it again for the upteenth time. I may even write its sequel before I return to rewrite it, but this story definitely has my heart and not only will it not let go but I can’t bear to let it go
even when I was ready to chunk the durn thing out the window in frustration over how many times it’s changed and needed rewriting… I spent the first five years of my writing journey working almost exclusively on this story, it’s my first book-baby and not only have I watched my characters change between drafts, but I’ve also watched them grow through the changes too. Some of that growth will probably never be shown in the actual book, but, I don’t know, there’s just something so special about being with this story so long.
Well, I hope you enjoyed that! XD