I was given the most awesome Liebster award by the even more awesome Katie at Whisperings of the Pen!
Rules: Post eleven random facts about yourself, answer the eleven questions the awarder has given you and make up eleven questions for your awardees to answer in return. Tag eleven fellow bloggers, and notify them of the award. Also, they say there are no tag-backs in this game, but I’m breaking that rule. They also say the eleven blogs you tag must have less than 200 followers. But I say if your blog has more than 200 followers, good for you! You will not be shunned. Feel free to participate!
Eleven Facts Selected off the Top of My Head
1. I’m quite adept at impersonations and have been known to do Ken Davis skits in Ken Ham’s voice, sing Blue Christmas like Elvis, and scare my sister by singing like Josh Groban. Which is not very useful as far as talents go, but is one I have nonetheless.
2. I’m really awful at painting my fingernails, but I like colors so I do it anyway.
3. I’m very fickle toward fictional characters. The minute I finish writing one, I begin another (or four, in this case) and fall in love with all of them. I also tend to tear up if I find a song that’s just right for them. (The Meaning of Always – RED by Taylor Swift. Last night. It was an epiphany. Or an apostrophe if you’ve seen Hook.)
4. I tried to dye my hair pink with kool-aid and it all washed out in the morning without dyeing anything. Apparently this is a sign of healthy hair. I wished, just for a second, that I had unhealthy hair.
5. It throws people off when I tell them I have a quick temper, like heavy, depressing music, and write novels like Monster. I think it’s because I have a baby face and look a lot like I imagine Bess from Nancy Drew would look. (Which is basically true; plump, blond, blue-eyed, would generally rather stay home, has lots of friends. With a dash of George.) When Jon and I had breakfast and we were talking about flaws, I mentioned the temper problem and he started laughing. “What!?” I exclaimed. Doing an admirable job to get a hold of himself, he looked me square in the eye and said, “I just have a really hard time believing that.” “Believe it,” I said, grinning. “My family does.”
6. I’m double-jointed and so when I’m just standing, my hip tends to slide out and my knees lock. It probably looks pretty awkward, actually.
7. My brother, dad and I watched Prometheus the other day. During the scene where the woman is cut open for surgery to have the alien baby pulled out, I’m the only one who kept my eyes open.
8. I have a thing for bright blue eyes. Watching Robin Hood: “Allan has such pretty eyes.” During Revolution: “Bas’s eyes are so pretty.” Looking at pictures: “Wow, those eyes are so pretty.”
9. If I have a nightmare, the villain will either be Nazis or bizarrely crooked teeth. When I was little, it was my older sister’s evil doppelgänger.
I have strange nightmares.
10. When I was little, I always sort of hoped I’d find a Monster hiding in my room so I could name it and he could become my late-night Visiting Friend.
11. According to my family and friends, I’m going to marry an insane, deranged, suicidal, depressed and questionable man with a past bigger than South America. I actually want someone who will watch the stars with me late at night, won’t mind when I sit up in the middle of the night with an idea and want to tell it to him, and will get me to go out and do things and have fun when all I want to do is sit glued to my computer.
1. Do you outline before starting a novel? If so, how extensive an outline do you create? I outline in a really vague, shaky, organic sort of way. Anything I do can be changed or reneged on; I usually only have two or three points I know are really solid must-happens. It’s more like, I have all these ideas and quotes and pictures in a multifaceted melting pot (thank you, Max) and I stir it and then pour it out and it becomes something that wants to be a novel in the near future.
2. Do you profile your characters to flesh them out and make them as realistic as possible? If so, would you share the template or basic outline you use? I actually used to. It was such a major help! Now, though, a new character comes into my head and after thinking about them for a little while, I know them well enough I don’t have to outline. Granted, I still do outlines now and then because they’re fun – and I might end up learning something new while I’m at it.
3. How do you balance the busyness of life with your writing goals? (Give a girl some advice here.) Aha. Um. I- uh. Oh. Well, see…I…um…uuuuhhhh well, here’s what I do. I get up. If it’s early and no one else is up, I write. When I’ve finished school and chores, I write. If I can’t get on the computer or have used up my 2 hours of time, I handwrite. And then I type it up, if it’s actually stuff I’m going to use. I fall so in love with my books and characters that I can’t not write. It becomes almost like a huge, physical itch and it won’t go away until I write it down. I schedule phone calls and chats with people at convenient times, and I tend to opt out if the rest of the family is going shopping or somewhere uninteresting. (Don’t look at me like that; I go if it sounds interesting!) And I still end up forgetting and neglecting things, but that’s in part due to my brain. It has more holes in it than the theory of Evolution.
4. Do you force yourself to finish a writing project before starting on a new one? Sometimes. Right now, I love the system I have – I’m working on four projects at once and so far, I’ve been in the mood for at least one of them every day. Plus my reading team is AMAZING for motivation and that other word that always slips out of my brain just when I need it – accountability, that’s it. So every now and then, when I know a story isn’t going anywhere and I’ve fallen out of love with it, I leave and start something new – but I used to do this way more frequently. Lately, I’ve finished everything I’ve started. (YAY!)
5. HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU CONTROL THE PLOT-BUNNIES?! I DON’T I LET THEM BREAD LIKE FIBBINOCCHI BUNNIES AND THEY HELP ME. I still have Heather, my plot bunny; Zig, my leprechaun from Ireland, and Penny, my flying pig. They’re all very helpful.
6. Once in a while, we all write characters that scare us for one reason or other. How do you deal with these characters and the emotions they evoke in you? Hmm. The only character I’ve ever written who scared me was Mir, and he scared me in a good way. He scared me because I had never felt that strongly about a character before. I don’t think I’ll ever, ever forget the day I wrote the scene where Eva tells Pocky that Mir is going to die. It was the first time my feelings had been so physical – I had a hard time breathing, tears were running down my face, and my chest felt like it was closing in on itself. And all I hope is that one day I’ll have a character who kills me that beautifully again.
7. Bronte sisters or Jane Austen? The Bronte sisters in theory; I love the dark, mysterious, gothic stories. But Jane Austen in reality, because all of the movies from her books have been better.
8. Peeta or Gale? (This has everything to do with everything.) Gale in the movie, Peeta in the books. Yep. Or can we just say Finnick? Maybe?
9. Do you people-watch? Do you find this inspires you to create more relatable, three-dimensional characters based on your observations? I do people-watch, but I have a funny way of doing it. If we’re out and about, unless I’m just sitting there bored with nothing to do, I forget to watch people. When I find a model for a character, though, I search them up online and watch them that way. It helps me get down little nuances about them; their quirky habits, the way they say things, their facial expressions. Over time, this has helped me create characters without needing an actual model (though I do like having models. It’s inspiring and gives other people a visual).
10. Do you write best when warm and cozy indoors, or outdoors with the sun in your face and the wind in your hair? Definitely indoors. I like having music, inspiration at the drop of a hat, and being able to look out the window at gray weather. Gray weather is my favorite.
11. How do you keep your writing new and original? How do you avoid falling into clichés? To be honest, my writing usually comes from about five unoriginal ideas blended together, with a dash of whatever happens to come out of my soul. It becomes, that’s all I can say for it. Sometimes I find it useful to employ clichés because, I’ve found, that it can really be the most clichéd things that jerk the most emotions out of me. That’s why they’re used so often – sometimes, clichés work. I try to avoid most clichés but some I embrace with open arms.
My Questions for the Tagged
1. Do you create playlists for your novels when you write, or do you write better without music?
2. Is there anything you have given up in order to be able to write?
3. What character (not your own) has moved or inspired you the most? Why?
4. Have you ever seen a real-life version of your character walking down the street?
5. Have you ever been inspired by something completely random and strange? (“Did she say she liked to draw swill-buckets?”)
6. Have you ever come up with a fantastic idea, only to find out that someone in the past stole it from you?
7. Is there one thing people tend to say all the time that you absolutely hate?
8. Is there a Tumblr you go to for inspiration?
9. What does your writing space look like?
10. Do you have a ‘routine’ for writing?
11. Have you ever been struck with creative lightning at an inappropriate time?
(If you are tagged and don’t have a blog, you can answer the questions in the comments – it means I tagged you because I think you’ll enjoy the questions, and I’m curious about your answers)
(since she likes tagbacks… *laugh*)