It’s time to answer some curious writer questions.
Mostly because I get to say curious and curiouser and remind myself that Lewis Carroll is pretty heckin’ famous despite making up his words because he couldn’t think of any existing ones. If that isn’t a big mood. That is like the origin of writers waving their hands vaguely and saying, “Can you pass me the thingie thing,” because wording on the paper is easier than wording with the mouth.
I am here to answer some QUESTIONS (that I pretty much stole) because I really love answering questions! I also love how writers can be so different with their processes and styles and reasons-for-writing — it’s most fascinating to discuss.
I’m always curious about other writers, so here let me just answer…
I got these questions from @rebeccarmix (who is fantastic on twitter you should follow her!!) from a thread here and am turning them into a blog post instead of a tweet thread because LET ME RAMBLE ON AND ON. So if you want to grab these questions for your blog, make sure to link back to Rebecca!)
Otherwise it’s nearly NaNoWriMo…so hey! Let’s talk writing!
OMAGHAOGH IT’S NEARLY NANO.
what are your favourite kinds of scenes to write? why?
Oh, hands down, it’s the banter scenes. I absolutely love them. Although the true irony is I put a lot of effort into making my banter sound, well…effortless. When it flows though, I AM MAGIC. I AM A MAGICAL CREATURE AVAST AND ADORE ME. (Usually it is a struggle that makes me cry tho so like, do not worry about my ego. It’s that smudge on the floor generally.)
I also really like the scenes were I absolutely break. everything. and. everyone.
(I am NICE.)
we’re all our own worst critics—so, what about your writing are you genuinely proud of? don’t hold back.
I’m genuinely proud of my prose! It can be a purple and flowery, and I use a lot of metaphors built from gossamer and eggshells and I freaking love it. I think, if you write the kind of books that you crave reading, then you’re on a good path.
I’m also super proud of MY DISASTER SONS. Ugh they are such ridiculous messes and make terrible decisions, but they feel like real people to me and I just??? I love writing my characters. I love it even more when my readers fall madly in love with them too.
what do you love about writing? what excites you? what makes all of this nightmare struggle worth it?
✧ i love love love writing outlines and developing threads of new stories and thinking, wOW DON’T MESS THIS UP CAIT, THIS COULD BE GREAT. (No pressure clearly.)
✧ publishing excites me. WILDLY!! seeing my book’s cover for the first time!! getting copy-edits back!!
✧ dude?! copy edits excite me !! I’m a real author!!
✧ I love finishing. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the writing process and losing myself in writing a scene, but that moment when you FINISH?! it is glorious.
✧ when you’re typing a line and you think, “Wow. Wow that was good.”
✧ the part where i explode into a thousand moths and vanish into the grim moors to avoid my problems
what’s something you’re not as strong in that you’d like to improve?
I need to get better at world building WOW do I just. I get so scared of info-dumping that I leave you with three breadcrumbs and a piece of cotton fluff and say, “Yes this my world, adore it.” Which is…not helpful.
I also want to get better at characters?! I tend to write many similar personalities (panics) and my idea of romance is often they kiss and then someone gets shot/falls off a cliff. You think I’m exaggerating but those are ACTUAL SCENES I have written. Because like what do you do with post-kiss emotions??? Burn them with fire???? hElp
we talk a lot about “big” writing dreams (movies! shows! bestseller list!) but do you have a smaller, quieter dream for you and your work? what is it?
✧ go into a library and see my book there !! (seeing it in a bookstore WAS UNREAL I’M STILL FLAILING)
✧ be blurbed by an author I admire (might be considered still a “big” dream though bUT I WANT THIS)
✧ have a shelf lined with books I have written
✧ hire someone to draw fanart for my books ajfdksald
✧ the cover of my book = on little edible cupcakes
✧ meet my agent/publisher in London someday!
are there things that pop up in your writing over and over again whether you like it or not? what are they?
The theme of “protecting” comes up a LOT. I find myself drawn to writing about characters who both need protecting and will do anything to protect another.
I also write a lot about violence, which is very ironic for someone who is a pacifist. But I like to explore things that make me angry or that make me want to do something to help. I write about how violence is also invisible bruises and how, just because you can’t see pain, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
I also write a LOT OF SLYTHERINS AND HUFFLEPUFFS OK. I CAN’T STOP. IT JUST HAPPENS. The stab and the soft. My children.
what are some tropes that you unapologetically adore writing? what are ones you never write bc you can’t stand them?
✧ tiny feisty people who bite ankles
✧ nearly-happened-but-then-didn’t kisses
✧ monsters who want to be human
✧ sassy mouthed flirts who are secretly damaged inside
✧ alpha males ughghg my boys will nEVER
✧ any sort of cure storyline ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
✧ mean girls
if you could hop in a time machine and give baby-writer you one piece of advice, what would it be?
Write more books before you’re published and panic about meeting expectations!!
NEVER LOOK FOR REVIEWS. WAIT FOR NICE PEOPLE TO TAG YOU FOR GOOD ONES BUT (SMACKS HAND) GET OFF GOODREADS YOU LIMP LETTUCE
Just accept your 1st drafts are horrible. They are little night-demons. Let them be. They will settle down someday and wash their nasty little feral faces and learn manners, it’s ok. You are not a failure for needing to write a book 4 x to get it right.
what’s the last book/last books you read that made you go HOLY SHIT that’s some good writing!!?
oh!! OH!! I have read so many good ones this year! But ones that just made me sit with my jaw hanging while I whispered, “I want to learn to write like that,” are definitely:
do you have a book out? a book you’re working on? tell me about it!
You already know about my first son, A Thousand Perfect Notes, which has been out for FOUR MONTHS already! (And also just sold rights to be translated into both Czech and Slovak! And Polish!) And if you haven’t read it yet (OMG YOU SHOULD YOU LOVE ME) it’s about music and domestic violence, disaster siblings, the softest friendship, a whole lot of dubious cakes, many good dogs, and saving yourself.
And my second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, is out in April (WHICH SEEMS SOON) and I swear the cover reveal is coming soon. Eventually. Maybe. (I have really no idea lmao.) But just know !! it is about homeless disaster brothers, a messy big family, autism, thievery, a very long string of bad decisions, lifesaving waffles, a prickly Slytherin girl and the softest honey Hufflepuff boy.
As for my current WIPs?!? It’s hard but I can’t really tell details much anymore. But I’m hoping my NaNo project will be something that tastes delightfully and wickedly of a story that’s Jumunji x Stranger Things.