luckychan: (bucky maniacal)
[personal profile] luckychan
So judgement day has come and gone, and I think I'm still alive. How are you guys doing? XD

Got really behind on this, as RL stuff kept me busy. As I'm getting quite sick of studying at the moment (was studying non-stop to make up for my laziness the past few weeks), let me take a break by answering the meme:

9. Do you share your writing publicly or keep it private? Have you or would you like to be published?

I share most of my writing, except when I mean to submit it for publication, where I share it only to certain people (mostly my friends' list). There's nothing more rewarding for me than having other people read and give their thoughts about my story.

I've already been published before, but I still would like to publish a children's book someday, and a YA novel. :)

10. What's your biggest source of writer's envy?

Uh, this is a bit of a difficult question. ^^; Well, my biggest source of writer's envy I guess, would be just how prolific some writers can be. Even if I didn't have such a hectic schedule I still cannot write as much or as fast as others can, and sometimes I would spend a whole day just writing less than a thousand words. And it's frustrating when you have so many plot bunnies in your head, but when you put them on paper they're just not as good as you first thought them to be.

11. How much detail do you usually leave out of a story?

Since I like having little plot twists in my stories (even the shorter ones), I like leaving out quite a lot. Which is difficult, because you have to do it in such a way that leaving out the detail is unnatural (which see sometimes in fiction), and the plot twist just sort of comes out forced and contrived. I like keeping readers guessing, and writing endings that hit them (hopefully) hard.

12. Where do you turn when your research is coming up with nothing of value to the story?

To the experts, meaning people I know online and offline who know better than I do on these things! It's actually really hard to do research on the things I need for some of my stories (especially those that have elements of our local folklore and pre-colonial practices in them) because there really is a dearth of readily available information on them. (Case in point, unlike other sections of our university library, the Filipiniana section isn't available for browsing/leisure reading. You can only check out books one at a time. Which is such a shame.)

13. Optimally, how many times does your work go through the revising process?

I actually can't keep track anymore. @_@ While I'm typing the story I do some editing along the way, then after I finish writing I read through it and edit it some more, then I take some time away from it and edit it some more after, then send it to beta-readers, then...

Sometimes even after the story's been published, I still feel like taking a pencil and crossing out words here and there. ^^;

14. Do you make literary or cultural references in your work? If so, what sources do you usually draw on? How do you decide whether to make (or keep, when editing) a particular reference?

I do, and I especially love making references to existing local folklore, even in my more realistic stories. I keep the reference when it contributes to the story (like what I did with a recent story, "Late"), or the reference gives a clue to the story's eventual resolution, but only those who got the reference would understand it. ...yeah, sometimes I'm evil that way. XD

15. What repeated themes do you see running through your work?

Hmm. I seem to write a lot of stories where the supposed "monsters" of folklore aren't really evil at all, but misunderstood. I mean, you can only have so many stories where aswang women are evil, right?

16. How do you support your themes? How do you make sure your language reflects them, and how do you decide whether something belongs in the plot or the theme category?

It really depends on the overall plot, or at least, the general feel of the story. Even if there's a theme I want to insert into the story but it won't fit the plot, I take it out and probably put it in another story somewhere. I like having my thoughts heard, but I won't sacrifice a story for it.

17. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

I guess you hear this piece of advice each and every time, but there's this: don't let others stop you from writing. Even when people say you can't write, even when others are so much better than you, even when you just keep getting rejected--don't let that stop you. I got this from my basic creative writing teacher in college, who managed to always find something good to say about the works we turned in even while giving helpful and constructive criticism to improve our writing. I always think of our workshops whenever I feel that I just can't be good enough, and I really am grateful I took his class.

18. What genres have you written in?

Fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, romance, literary. I'm actually not too fond of magic realism, so I haven't tried writing that. I also can't write erotica to save my life. @_@

19. Do you write long stories, short stories, or both? What's challenging about writing a particular story length?

Both! :) What's challenging about writing short stories is making sure the story doesn't drag on for too long, so you have trim down unnecessary details and the like, which really would belong more in longer works. Sometimes it pains me to remove things like witty comebacks and banter in these short stories just to make the maximum word count, because even if I know they wouldn't really contribute to the story, they make the story a lot more fun.

With longer works, since you have more freedom, you have to make sure that you didn't go all out crazy with all the stuff you placed, and you have make sure that all the elements written in to it really were necessary. And of course, longer stories need more time and effort. And patience, lots of it.

20. Is your writing generally plot- or character-driven? Why?

A bit of both, actually. When I start to write I do think of the plot first, but as I go along,I put in little details to flesh out the characters more, and sometimes, if I feel that a certain plot direction would be better for the development of a character, then I go with that instead.

21. Do you ever participate in writing challenges? Which ones?

I just did, hehe. I like participating in writing challenges, especially those with prompts, because they jumpstart my lazy fickle muses, and they give me deadlines so I would be pressured to finish them, hehe.

22. Out of all the characters you've ever written, which one is your favorite? Which one has surprised you the most?

Hee, this has got to be my most favorite question ever. XD It's really a tie between two characters, since I love them both, but in different ways. One is Sam Rivera (Alternate Futures) because he can be really nice and mysterious but also goofy too, and the other is Juan (of the Tikbalang and Sinukuan series of stories), because at the heart he's a trickster, and that's always fun to write.

The one who surprised me most? Well, they all do. There are times when I wonder if I really am the one writing the story, not them.

23. Do you use unreliable narrators? Why or why not?

Almost all the time! I love the limited third person point of view, because it allows me to conceal vital plot points from the reader, without being too obvious about it. As I said, I like surprising people.

24. What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike?

I love imagining, dreaming, creating. I love it when others read what I've written. I love having my thoughts known, because I never could say these things as well out loud.

What I dislike about it are the moments of rejection, but I know that happens with everyone, after all, and the only you can do is soldier on, write on.

In other news, I'm finally watching stuff again. I'm rather currently obsessed with Castle again (on Season 2, finally) and Ao no Exorcist (I'm very fond of Rin and rather ridiculously in love with Yukio, and I haven't liked a character like that in a long, long time! I hope this keeps up.)

on 2011-05-24 06:37 pm (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: drawing of a man in a brown turtleneck, looking away, text: time for a hundred visions and revisions (Writing: visions and revisions)
Posted by [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Ooh... I think your answer to #23 is helping me clarify something I come across from time to time in fiction and really hate. (I've been thinking about it a lot lately and trying to explain what it is and why I hate it.) A big part of it is that the author is hiding something from me, the reader, and it's obvious. I love it when something hidden comes to light--but not if I've been waiting impatiently for that very hidden thing. (Gah, I need to finish this meme, I haven't updated in like two weeks.)

on 2011-05-27 02:00 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Miaka (Fushigi Yûgi) looking very happy. (Oooooh!)
Posted by [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
Sometimes even after the story's been published, I still feel like taking a pencil and crossing out words here and there. ^^;

I think that may well be one of the truest things ever said about writing right there. ^-^

I always think of magical realism as really, really light (and low) fantasy. I don't think it's quite supposed to work like that or whether it's useful to mention it to you, but you never know. I find it fascinating to read sometimes, but it's not my favourite genre either.

Do you do a lot of planning for your stories or do you work more organically? It sounds to me like you're using a bit of a mixture of the two, so I'm curious how you feel about the processes yourself? (I'm sorry if I'm asking things you've discussed before, by the by.)

Also, you have trickster characters! I cannot write them for the life of me. I am mightily impressed. (And curious. I have a soft spot for trickster characters.)

on 2011-05-29 05:26 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Miaka (Fushigi Yûgi) looking very happy. (Having Fun)
Posted by [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
I don't read contemporary/literary fiction at all, so that's a distinction that's totally lost to me. ^-^; (Okay, I probably do read a little of it unknowingly, but...)
Any chance the issues you had with Water for Elephants fed into one another?

I write as I'm told. ^-~ Cliché it may be to have stories to take on a life of their own, but it's the only way I know how to write. I've tried the planning/outlining thing and toss out most of it. Usually what stays are the bits that I knew before writing. I'm always awed by people who say they can plan and outline. ^-^ I suppose it's a detriment to my stories in many ways, but I don't know. It's how I write. Combining it is useful, though. ^-^ (Personally, I think banter is absolutely awesome. It always breaks my heart when I learn someone had to cut out banter for some reason.)

Ooooooh! *bounces excitedly* They sound absolutely brilliant stories! Thank you for thinking about sharing one of his stories sometime. <3


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