Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's All About the Writing

I read a blog post by Travis Erwin the other day, who gave a sort of what's what about his writing. I thought I might borrow the format he used, and give clear answers as to my own. After all, what's a blog about writing if no one knows the kind of writing you do? (I recently posted a sample of my fiction.) Oh, I've mentioned snippets of my projects and interests here and there, but this is a nice run-down of all my writerly workings. And, 'cause you know, if an agent happens by my blog, they'll see at a glance who I am as a writer. ;)

What is/are your genre(s)? Contemporary fiction. I also have an interest in humorous narrative non-fiction. But unrelated to novels, I write a humor column based on motherhood, as well as essays and articles on varying topics.

How many books are you working on now? Three: The women's fiction I've written and am actively querying, the contemporary fiction of which I began writing the first draft a couple months ago, and then the narrative non-fiction I've been planning and proposing.

Are you a linear or chunk writer? Most often I fall into the linear category. But when I stalled two-thirds of the way through my women's fiction, I jumped ahead to the ending. Since I'd known all along how I wanted the story to conclude, I decided I might reach that end better if it was laid out before me. And it worked!

What POV are you partial to? I started with first person point-of-view, but it just wasn't working. So I switched and, for me, third person is so much smoother. The story seems to unfold better, whereas it seemed stunted and jolty in first. I think I've found my niche with third person POV.

What tense do you use? Past. It's the only one that seems natural for my style of writing.

What theme keeps cropping into your books? For fiction, it's the main characters' ultimate search for happiness. In non-fic, motherhood.

How many days a week do you write? I usually write some form of something, even if just a blog post, each of a week's seven days. As a mom of two young girls, though, only one of which is in school, I've found it hard to line out a standard routine. So I'm relegated to doing true writing (on a larger scale project) during stolen snatches, when they've occupied themselves or after they've gone to bed.

What time of day do you get your writing done? There's no one answer for this. Sometimes it's while Dora the Explorer plays in the background, sometimes it's when my husband takes the girls out (or I escape on my own) and I'm left alone with my thoughts, and yet other times it's late at night, after I've had more than one iced mocha, and the caffeine and adrenaline and inspiration won't let me rest. There seems no rhyme nor reason.

Who are your mentors? This is tough for me to answer, because I have no true coach or tutor when it comes to writing. But I've found what I'd guess to be an equivalent amount of support and encouragement among other writers, who understand the passion, the hard work, the discipline, etc.; those I've found on AW and here on Blogger.

Who are your favorite authors to read? Those authors I read with any regularity are Jan Karon, Beverly Lewis, Barbara Delinsky, Nicholas Sparks, and James Patterson (I like the pscyh thrillers, but even moreso the contemporary fiction he's been delving into as of late). But, plain and simple, I love contemporary fiction (especially in the sub-genre of women's fiction). I've yet to sit down with a Jodi Picoult book, but I really look forward to reading her novels. And though I've only read one of Anne Lamott's books thus far (Bird By Bird - I highly recommend it!), I plan to check out others of her titles, both fic and non-fic.

And that's it for me. How would you answer these questions?

10 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

I'm glad you decided to do this as well. It's always interesting to see how others go about writing.

colbymarshall said...

Hm, I may borrow this at some point. I love hearing your answers, and I'm impressed you can write with TV in the background. I can't do that!

Janet said...

Three books at once? I could never do it.

Janna Qualman said...

I'll be curious about your answers, Colby.

Janet, I didn't plan it that way. But after I finished Novel 1, I knew I had to start something new, which led to Novel 2. And, lo and behold, the narrative non-fic just wouldn't let me be!

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for a better glimpse into you as the writer! (I love Nicolas Sparks!)

Joshua said...

very very cool :)

Joshua said...

and thanks, I like the new heading description too :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I write "all over the place" too. Three co-authored inspirational books done, I've got my first fiction (women's) making the rounds trying to find an agent, I write parenting articles for regional pubs and the web, blogging several places, poetry, treated text (my new obsession), hmmm, and other stuff too. ;) Write on!

Janna Qualman said...

Angie, I think we deserve nice, long naps! ;)

Melissa Marsh said...

Great answers! I also used this meme on my Saturday blog post.

I've got a non-fiction history book begging to be written - I've got almost all the info (I gathered most of it from my graduate thesis), but I have yet to sit down and do an outline. If I could just tear myself away from the fiction long enough...