Happy Saturday, everyone!
As most of you probably know, I love writing and have been scribbling stories since I was a wee thing. (But we do not talk about my first story involving my friends and six-year-old me. Unless you’re my mom. Most of my old stories have been shoved into the dark recesses of basement storage containers, never to see the light of day again.)
So I was very excited when the lovely Kristianne tagged me for the Writing Community Award! I love her questions, and I’m looking forward to talking about all things related to writing. Let’s jump right in!
Below, the rules are (Yoda-ism thrown in there for uniqueness):
1. Display the award logo on your site. (‘Tis displayed above)
2. Link back to the person who tagged you. (Thank you so much, Kristianne!)
3. Answer five questions.
4. Tag three blogs (they have to be writing related blogs, not just any blogs) and ask them five new questions.
5. Follow as many blogs with this award as you can.
And now for Kristianne’s questions…
1. Who is the audience that you write for?
Quite honestly, this has changed a lot as I’ve grown up, since I basically write for whatever age group of which I am currently a member. Right now, that means I’m writing mainly for a young adult audience (about the 12-to 18-year-old range).
However, I would really like to continue writing in the young adult genre. There can never be too many solid stories for teenagers, and I’d love to write stories that inspire teens to hope, to long for something beyond themselves, and to trust in the One who upholds the universe. Reading the stories of authors like N.D. Wilson, Nadine Brandes, Wayne Thomas Batson, and others greatly inspires me to write God-honoring stories for the young adults in the world.
2. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I used to believe that I was a pantser and would jump into a story with no thought for the endgame and no planning whatsoever.
That explains why none of my “novels” (cringe) exist in their full form today.
After having an assignment to write a short story, though, where I was required to plan out and give thought to my story beforehand, I realized how much easier it was. Because I knew my story so well, I sat down in front of the keyboard and typed out my elven fantasy tale with little difficulty.
So yes, I am now definitely on the side of plotting. The only problem now is that I’m usually a little scared to start writing my story or novel if I don’t have it planned out well enough, and so I procrastinate and procrastinate until I lose steam and all my brainstorming goes to waste.
Recently, though, I’ve been learning so much about the writing craft (How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson is one of my favorite books for plotting without excessive plotting), and so I’m starting to feel more ready to breathe life into the stories flitting around my head.
Anyway, short answer to the question: plotter. 🙂
3. Which comes first when you get a story idea: characters, plot, or setting/world?
Characters, for sure. With my latest story idea, the plot, world, and characters actually all came around the same time, so that was kind of unusual (although it was extremely nice, since I didn’t have to rack my brain too hard!). But with all my story ideas, it’s new people who are the first to pop up in my head and yell, “Hey, write our story!” Then, I build a world and plot around their personality and past experiences.
4. What genre is your favorite to write and why?
Speculative fiction is 100% my favorite genre to write. All of my very favorite stories are speculative fiction (The Lord of the Rings, the Ashtown Burials, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Out of Time trilogy, I could go on…), and they have deeply touched my heart, stirring a longing in me to live my God-given life to the fullest, to love others well, and to enjoy eternity with my Father one day. These stories that caused me to long beyond myself inspire me to write similar stories for others. Of course, contemporary novels, historical fiction, and classics hold a certain magic of their own, but for me, nothing has so tangibly demonstrated themes of sacrifice, love, courage, selflessness, and friendship as speculative fiction.
5. How do you handle criticism and rejection in your writing?
I’ve never experienced outright rejection of my stories, probably because I have not entered that many contests or submitted a novel for publication. But I have had to swallow constructive criticism on numerous occasions.
By the grace of God, I believe that I’ve grown a lot in the area of receiving criticism when I need it. I used to be extremely defensive and angry when someone would try to help or correct me, and I know I still fight that tendency. When I receive feedback, I take a deep breath. If my critiquer is with me in person, I try to keep a bright face, rather than a stormy one, and humbly take notes of what they’re saying. I pray that I would be humble and teachable. And I try to prepare, if I know I’m going to receive critique, by reminding myself that even though I’m not going to like everything I hear, that’s the point. I can either embrace the criticism to help me grow in positive ways, or I can shut it out and continue being defensive and unteachable.
Criticism and rejection are hard, and I am definitely not perfect when it comes to accepting them. But I am growing and learning how to give and receive constructive criticism well, and it’ll be for my good in the long run.
Thanks again, Kristianne, for the great tag! I really enjoyed thinking through your questions and pondering my writing. 🙂
Now for those on whom I am bestowing this tag (as always, feel no obligation at all to do this; I know how tags can pile up):
And my five questions:
- What are your publishing aspirations?
- What inspires you to keep writing?
- What is your favorite thing to write? (Novels, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, etc.)
- What is your mission with your writing?
- What was your first finished writing project?
And also, as always, feel free to steal this tag if you want to talk about your writing on your own blog! (Or you could answer the questions in the comments; that works, too.)
Have a wonderful weekend!
How are you doing, friends? Are you a writer? What do you like to write and why? How can I pray for you? Also, if anyone wants to talk about WandaVision, I’m game. 🙂 Let’s chat in the comments!