Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The Writer Tag

I wanted to dedicate a post to writing this week since I mentioned in a post a few weeks back that I’m doing my own thing for #NaNoWriMo this year. I rediscovered Bee’s ‘The Writer Tag’ whilst I was browsing the Vivatramp archives and I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss my writing process for those who are interested. Snaps to Bee for creating this tag!

1. What do you write? What genre? Any recurring themes?

I’m currently in the middle of writing a historical fiction novel set in 17th Century France which I’ve been working on for around two years. I’ve always been a history buff and I love reading historical fiction so this has always been a genre that’s drawn to me. The story focuses on love, intrigue, relationships, and the politics of life in Paris during the 1660’s.

I’ve also recently started dabbling in writing bits of poetry and flash fiction, which are nice pallet cleansers when I need a break from novel writing. My shorter pieces don’t always follow particular genre but I like to focus on the dark and macabre.

2. What or who inspires you to write?

I can’t say what exactly inspired me to start writing a book about the intrigues of Louis XIV’s court, but the idea sprang from somewhere and I sort of ran with it. I visited Paris with my sister a few years ago (before I started writing it, although the idea had already blossomed) and our day trip to Versailles really got my creative brain ticking. I wanted to bring my story in to the walls of that magnificent palace, to tell a story about real people who walked those halls. I love to draw inspiration from real places and real people.

Authors also inspire me. V. E. Schwab is a new favourite of mine and I’m in awe of her world building and ability to create memorable characters.

3. Where do you write, when, and with what?

I do a lot of my writing at home, either in my little nook on the sofa, or on my bed. I have notebooks where I scrawl ideas down but a lot of the time, I write on my laptop so I can edit easily and move things around if I feel they belong elsewhere.

4. Sound or silence when writing?

Sound, always. I find silence very distracting when I’m writing so I like to have something unobtrusive playing to help me focus. I like to listen to classical music, film soundtracks, or soft house music.

5. Have you studied writing? If so, what was that like? If not, where do you feel you learnt your craft?

I have an MA in English Literature but I never studied writing during my course. I was more interested in studying the writing of others than creating my own at university. I was always of the mind that I couldn’t write and it took me a long time to get my story down on paper because I thought, what if it’s no good? Even now, there are times where I think my writing completely sucks. I just push through, read as much as I can, and experiment with ideas. I don’t believe you need to be have studying writing to be a writer – you just have to do it.

(photo credit)

6. What do your family/friends think?

Here’s something about me: I’m actually a super private person so there’s hardly anyone in my personal life who has read my writing. They know of it, but I’m only just now starting to share it with my friends. I overthink a lot – a by-product of my anxiety - but becoming part of Bee’s Patreon has helped give me confidence in sharing my creative work. If you're looking for a creative community to be a part of, I definitely recommend Bee's Patreon. It's a lovely little coven full of lovely people. 

7. What do you find challenging?

Writer’s block is a real struggle and I find it difficult to work my way through it sometimes. I have the skeleton of the story in my head and filling in the gaps so I can get from A to B can be like pulling teeth.

8. What’s your favourite thing about writing?

I love reading over something after being away from it for a bit and realising that I actually like what I’ve written. It gives me a real boost and reinvigorates my confidence.

9. Any tips for writer’s block?

Take time away from your project. Trying to work through it can sometimes be counter-productive and I find my brain works through it better if I take a break. Also, read. Read as much as you can. I find reading something different to the genre I’m writing can help me think outside of the box.

10. What are your life long writing goals?

I would love to have a novel published someday. Maybe even the one I’m working on now – if I ever finish it…


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