Writing Habits: A Questionnaire

One of my recent visitors, Jodie Llewellyn, posted this little exercise, and it sounds like fun and might get me going again.

1. Typed or Handwritten?

Typed.  Word processor, actually.  Forget writing anything by hand.

2. Cursive or Printed?

See above.  But when I do write by hand, it’s print.  I put the curse in cursive.  According to my signature, my name is Ro& P Gm&&&.

a cool pen3. Show us your favorite pen.

Heh.  Okay.  This one is a combination flashlight, laser pointer, counterfeit money detector, and stylus.  Oh, and you can also write with it, I assume.

4. Where do you like to write?

Basically at my computer.  It’s a laptop, but it’s so old and creaky that I’m scared to move it.  I wrote a short story (autobiographical science fiction) where the climactic point is probably that computer being smashed on the floor.

5. Who are your five favorite authors in terms of authorial style?

Hmm, tough.  I’m nowhere near as well-read as I supposedly should be.  Here’s five I consider to be good writers: Douglas Adams, Dave Barry, Ray Bradbury, Jack L. Chalker, Arthur C. Clarke.  You might have noticed there are no “young adult” authors on that list.  Uh huh.

6. What are you your three favorite books on writing?

Don’t really have any.  I’m not sure it’s something that can be learned from a book.  I got partway through Stephen King’s On Writing, but eventually realized it would more accurately be called On Stephen King.  We writers do love to talk about ourselves.

7. Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo?

No.  For one thing, it comes at a bad time of year for me.  Further, making myself write has not been a problem in the past.  I’ve written complete short stories in the space of an hour or less.  I’ve cranked out multiple chapters in a single afternoon.  If it’s coming, it comes.  And I prefer not to try to force it into a mold.

8. Have you ever won NaNoWriMo?

No.  Didn’t even know you could “win”?  What’s the prize?

9. Have you ever had anything published?

Um… how to put this?  No.  No, I have not.

10. What projects are you working on now?

Trying the change the answer to #9.  Revising the opening chapter on the assumption that it’s one of the reasons I’m getting rejected.  I should sit down and revise a short story I recently wrote, so I can try submitting it places.  I shared it with writers’ group and they all liked it.  And I wrote the first chapter of a time-travel novel, in a genre that I am inventing called “Old Adult Science Fiction.”  If we can target a thousand crappy books specifically to teens and their “unique” concerns, then it sould be possible to put out some good ones for people like me.  I really should try to get it going.  The writers’ group liked it as well.  Too bad none of them are agents or anything…

11. What is your soundtrack to writing?

Oh dear.  My iPod is famously eclectic.  Everything from classical to jazz to old school prog to grunge to bluegrass to Hawai’ian to novelty songs.  But these days I have been getting lots of play from the Star Trek Original Series Soundtrack Collection.  At this moment I’m being serenaded by the legendary Vulcan fight music (you know what I’m talking about!).  It’s just great music and a lot of the cues fit nicely with different scenes I’ve written.  And during my recent two week pause to wallow in Olympic figure skating, I found myself mixing together a four-minute sequence that I think would make a great program for ladies’ free skate. Specifically the cues called. “Enter Miranda,” “Alien Ship” and “Big Fite,” for anyone nerdy enough to be familiar.  I’m serious.  Isadora, are you still out there?

12. Do you have a writing pump-up song?

Not really.  That said, I’ve been very motivated by Ambrosia’s “Somewhere I’ve Never Traveled.”  It’s a cool song, and lyrically it perfectly sums up the motivation and experience of three of my main characters.  I like it so much I worked it into the book.  Then one of my crit partners basically said, “You’re referencing a song from 1974 in your Young Adult novel?”  Then she stared at me.  Followed but somewhat more contemporary alternatives.  Yes ma’am.

Okay, any of my writer buddies want to try this?


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2 responses to “Writing Habits: A Questionnaire

  1. 1. both.
    2. my handwriting has degenerated into a combined mutation of printing and writing.
    3. i don’t have a camera, but it’s a fountain pen that always runs out of ink in the middle of a sentence.
    4. everywhere; anywhere the muse comes to bother me.
    5. five of them are: Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord Dunsany, Fritz Leiber, W. Somerset Maugham, Mary Stewart.
    6. “If You Want To Write,” Brenda Ueland; “How Fiction Works,” James Wood; “Science Fiction 101,” Robert Silverberg.
    7. no.
    8. n/a
    9. no.
    10. short works for my wordpress.com site, and two longer works. not sure what ultimate length they will be.
    11. none–silence.
    12. no.

  2. You were right, it’s a cool pen… I type most of my fiction, but that’s because it’s faster, and I handwrite when I feel indulgent. Cursive, always always cursive (um…because it’s faster. Maybe a trend there)
    I have ONE favorite book on writing, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. Not practical, not about publishing, but really lovely on the beauty of writing.

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