Writer Life & Lessons

Liebster Survey :: A Blog Prompt

pentacledrummers14 023Last week (or likely three weeks ago now) I was nominated by Janna for the Liebster Award. Thank you very much for thinking of me.

I always have a 50:50 feeling about participating in these things, which probably comes across as rudeness since I sometimes forget to reply to the messages. 

Mostly, I have issues with anything that tells me I must tag X number of people. It reminds me of internet chain letters, which I never pass on and tend to find quite offensive. (Even those “share if you love your mum” ones — if someone’s mother doesn’t know they are loved then no image thoughtlessly re-posted is going to fix that — someone needs to put some effort into that relationship.) 

Ahem. /endrant


Having said this, some of these surveys are good fun to answer, help readers and bloggers to connect, and are nice reminders that we belong to a community of sorts. Plus, tagging other writers can help people discover new and wonderful blogs.  So i’m posting the rules and original idea; but I’m going to do it differently — to use the questions as a blog prompt rather than an actual award.

The Rules (re-written so I don’t break into another rant):

  1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them:  Janna’s blog is here and although it’s fairly new to me, she has some great posts, particularly about choosing projects (like a ‘to be written’ box which is a grand idea).
  2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator. I’m going to cheat and answer one of the questions she was asked as well because I really liked it!
  3. Nominate some other bloggers for this award [this originally said those who have less than 200 followers, but I won’t be checking, and I’m just going to mention a few writers you should check out]
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer: I really liked the questions I was given/Janna answered — how else will I find out all these things about others? Seems silly to change it each time.
  5. Notify nominees. 

My Answers 

1. Why do you write?

Has any writer ever answered this without a forced smile and “because I need to/love it/do?” Why do you breathe and eat and watch television?

2. What do you hope to achieve with your writing? (E.g. raise awareness of something, tell a story, teach a lesson…)

To get the story out. I do have some strong threads about honour and a world where values are placed on keeping ones word, because this is something I understood from a ridiculously young age, yet no one in my family appears to get. I wish I knew where I got some a strong sense of honour in this world where it barely exists. So in the worlds I create, it’s big deal.

3. If you could go back in time and give yourself some writing advice what would it be?

“You’ll come back to this one day, and things will be better — you, your reader’s feedback, the writing and your love of language.”

4. Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what sort of music?

Yes. Any. All. I listen to whatever’s on or whatever suits the scene. I tend to grab metalstep and industrial instrumental pieces for big scenes; to get me in the right mood. Myself and John are trying to start a small trend of writers listening to metalstep, so head over to the music search page of your choice and type it in (then turn it up!).

5. Where do you get your ideas from?

I’ve always wanted to answer this with Schenectady [bonus points if you get the reference], but I live in England, so that would be impractical.

But I’ll copy Neil Gaiman instead. Like every other writer, “I make them up”.

Mostly the begin boringly. My latest novel is based on seeing a crow fly over a field. Literally. Nothing else. I drove past and *bam* idea, character, question to be answered, journey to take.

6. What is your writing process? Are you a pantser, a plotter or a mixture?

Oh what a complicated question! Can I just answer with “depends” and move on? Thought not.

I believe this changes in time, and with each project. Right now, I’m exploring a full-on-plotting attempt through a story I’ve nicknamed TFG. It’s been floating around in a word document since April, and I’ve still not written a single word. I’m trying to plot all the key elements out before I begin — to see if I can avoid the mess Planes Shifter became.

7. Where do you write best? (E.g. at your desk, in bed, in a cafe…)

I tend to work 50% on my bed and 50% at my desk. To be honest, it depends how much pain I’m in (back/neck pain) and how tired/lazy I am. My bed is comfy and there’s space to spread out my notes. However, my desk is also pretty awesome.

8. Is there anyone that keeps you writing despite struggles? If so, who?

No one person. I have been talked out of chucking a particular story away though by my beta readers, and by some good friends (Sam, Daphne and Sorcha, I’m looking at you)
Mostly, I’m propelled to keep going by the hope that the current story will one day be decent, and that day is so worth waiting for/working towards.

9. If you could meet any author who would it be?

I’d love to meet Ellie Di Julio, because she’s awesome. Dianne Sylvan is the main author I turn to when I want to read. I physically can’t make myself put her books down, so it would be great to meet her (she’s also hilarious in the snarky way).
I’d also love to meet the authors of the books that got me reading: Kenneth Oppel, David Clement-Davies, Philip Pullman and Theresa Tomlinson. [Since I already met Garth Nix :P]

10. What is your favourite book of all time?

Ha. Sod off. See the previous five authors – those books.
If I had to pick, I’d go with The Sight by David Clement-Davies.

11. What is your favourite writing quote?

The one I use the most is “Write drunk, edit sober.” Probably because I only really drink when I write. It’s not a social thing for me, it’s a writing aid. Which is probably bad, but at least we writers are fairly consistent?


Writers To Check Out

  1. Ellie Di Julio – Her books are awesome, and she blogs like a human being. This, I like.
  2. Cheyenne Trumbo – Someone I’ve bonded with through our many new writing-related ideas we run by each other before stepping into.
  3. Sorcha O’Dowd – Uni friend turned NaNo buddy turned roommate turned sister-in-writing. Seems to do a million book reviews every second (and do them well).
  4. Anyone else – tag yourself and leave a comment here so I can read your answers ^_^

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