Monday, August 16, 2010

Writing Tag

Got this tag from The Novel Pretender! This one is particularly fun. ;-)

Rules: Fill out the tag, and then add two of your own questions!

What do you write your stories on?
My computer, nowadays. I think my imagination works better when I'm writing on paper, but since I'm trying to get my novel ready for publication, and since publishers only accept type-written manuscripts, and since it's easier to backspace and erase on Microsoft Word, well, I'm using Microsoft Word. :-)

What is your favorite kind of character?
You know... I kind of like the tragic type of character. :-) Not sure if that's my favorite kind though.

When you're asked what your story is about, what is your usual reaction?
"Um, uh, yeah, well, uh... it's about... uh... pirates..." I always get embarrassed saying it's about pirates, and then don't know how to give a plot synopsis. :-S

What is your biggest writing pet peeve?
"Show, don't tell; show, don't tell; show, don't tell..." I am convinced that that is the most unneedfully-over-emphasized rule in the rulebook. Ever read any of the great classics? "Pride and Prejudice"? "A Tale of Two Cities"? "North and South"? "Little Women"? All have some (or a lot) of telling in them, and they have lasted. I definitely agree that we show show more than tell, we should show what our characters are like, not just tell, and so on, but telling can't complete be eliminated... sometimes it's the best way to get a point across. And I really don't think the readers care that much. *thump* That was me jumping off of my soapbox.

What is the biggest turn-off for you when reading a book?
Mockery of God, and too many beats-- and short, choppy, incorrect-English sentences. ;-)

Your favorite era in history?
Oh dear, I don't know. Depends on whether you are talking about fashion or events or what. My favorite used to be mid-1800s, prairie. It isn't so much anymore. The Reformation is interesting, the English Civil War era, and I also like the 1930s-40s (for history/events).

How many words on average do you punch out in one sitting?
I try for at least 500. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Are you a fast typist?
Yes, if I already know what I'm writing. More often it comes in spurts as I try to decide how to word something next. If I'm copying something from paper to screen, I can type very fast.

What do you do for inspiration?
Take a walk, ride in the car and look out the window, listen to soundtrack music, read previous manuscripts, or read a favorite author with a good style.

The truest writing quote you've ever heard:
"The first writer I watched at work was my stepfather, E. B. White. Each Tuesday morning, he would close his study door and sit down to write the "Notes and Comments" page for The New Yorker. The task was familiar to him-- he was required to file a few hundred words of editorial or personal commentary on some topic in or out of the new that week-- but the sounds of his typewriter from his room came in hesitant bursts, with long silences in between. Hours went by. Summoned at last for lunch, he was silent and preoccupied, and soon excused himself to get back to the job. When the copy went off at last, in the afternoon RFD pouch-- we were in Maine, a day's mail away from New York-- he rarely seemed satisfied. "It isn't good enough," he said sometimes. "I wish it were better."
~Roger Angell, in the foreword to The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
I said that's the "truest one" because that's just how I am. ;-)

What's your favorite genre to write?
Adventure. Often historical adventure. I can't write daily life stories, and I can write real mystery.

Favorite font to write with?
Times New Roman

New questions:

Do you find listening to instrumental music helpful when you write?
Definitely!! I love my soundtracks. :-)

How many books are you writing right now?
Mainly just MD. I am in the middle of some other ones, but they are currently "on the back burner". Working on just one at a time helps me stay focused. :-)


Sarah Scheele said...

LOL, what you say about "show not tell" is sooo true! This silly cliche makes it sound like they are mortal enemies of each other--when in fact they are both necessary to make a book good.

Jerky, choppy, thin writing is one of my pet peeves. :D

Melanie said...

Well put, Sarah! :-D

And I agree about jerky, chopping, thin writing. :-)

Anonymous said...

How funny, Melanie!! :D I loved the soapbox comment.