Novel · Reflection · Uncategorized

Never Have I Ever: Writer Edition

Hello hello,

I am in what you might call a reading/writing slump, what with the world being literally and metaphorically ON FIRE right now, and my depressed/existential lizard brain running amok. BUT I’m slowly starting to revise HONORS for Pitch Wars at the end of this month, and I just got two new books in the mail that I am excited to dive into. I also just read Nicole’s absolutely delightful post taking part in a fun blogging tag, and thought I’d give it a red hot go. This is the Never Have I Ever Tag: Writer Edition (very different from other games of Never Have I Ever that I’ve played. . . *sweats nervously*).

Never Have I Ever. . .

…started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Nope, I tend to be stubborn with this, and if I’ve decided to start a novel, I need to finish it. (And I mean, to get all philosophical for a sec, art is never REALLY finished right? Only abandoned 😉 )

…written a story completely by hand.

Err not completely, but about two-thirds of one, yes. My second novel, THE DEVIL’S BELT, a complicated multi-POV account of a real historical event, that needed extensive outlining, and that kept me sane through my customer-facing day job. I’ve told this story way too many times, but I wrote most of it in a little notebook that fit into my uniform pocket so I could sneak in sentences whenever I could at work. It was slow going, but it made me really think about each scene, each line, each POV. I really want to go back and revise it someday soon, so I can do it justice. My handwriting was and is absolutely terrible though, and I prefer to type when I’m writing to keep up with my ADHD brain, so I don’t normally hand-write. That time was out of necessity.

…changed tenses midway through a story.

Noo I usually write in 3rd-person Deep POV with all of my projects. Some of my short stories are in first person, but once I decide what the tone and voice of the story is going to be, I stick with the tense.

…not researched anything before starting a story.

*GASP SHOCK HORROR* Not possible, I come from an academic research background, and I think even if I didn’t write historical fiction I would still research the heck out of whatever I was writing about. (I have jumped into some short stories without researching, but usually because they were more fantastical or magical and I could just make shit up!)

…changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Nooo similar to the tense question above, but even more so, I looove names and their meaning, their symbolism, the way they sound, so the names of my characters are hugely important. I have changed the names of secondary characters occasionally, but it was usually early on when I realized I didn’t like how they sounded.

…written a story in a month or less.

LOL no, who do you think I am, Nicole? (jk Nicole I LOVE YOU and am in awe of you.) I’ve tried and failed to do NaNo before, and have never written a novel in less than a 3-4 months. A short story though? Sure.

…fallen asleep while writing

Er, no, not yet, but hey if this happens at least I know what scenes to cut in revision!

…corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online?

No. I care more about people’s feelings than being right, and maybe English isn’t their first language.

…yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of my novel.

LISTEN, OK, WAIT—I don’t think I’ve done this out loud, but in my head I’m constantly yelling at myself.

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Oh yes definitely. Or “I’m revising”, or making a WIP playlist, or making yet ANOTHER aesthetic/mood board, which all count as writing so it’s fine.

…killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

Hmm no, but I have a list. (I’m KIDDING)

…used pop culture references in a story.

. . .Maybe. I try to weave them into the language and setting though, and make them as subtle as possible. Like half of a line from a musical, or adapting a movie one-liner to my specific characters. It makes me happy, and who knows, maybe one day a reader will find all my easter eggs 🙂

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Yes, although not for a while. I’m a night owl by nature, but once I hit 30, midnight is now my limit.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

Err no because I already have anxiety without coffee, so one cup is usually enough for me.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

Sort of? I seem to get plot ideas or epiphanies in the hour(s) it takes me to fall asleep, or in the wee hours of the morning when I’m half-awake before my alarm goes off (thanks brain). So I guess they’re more half-asleep thoughts.

…published an unedited story on the internet/blog/Wattpad.

Not in the sense that I don’t re-read it before hitting ‘Publish’. I like to sleep on my short stories and blog posts before I post them, usually, which means I’ve re-read them a few times and tweaked things.

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

Oh hell yeah. I started writing my first novel, HONORS, around the same time I started my PhD, and I would keep both my draft and my dissertation up on my computer (before they both got too long. . .), and I would procrastinate on one with the other, and then switch. It was weirdly effective? Writing my novel felt like a guilty pleasure, but then when I hit a snag in the novel, I’d switch over to my dissertation and let my art history brain take over.

(We’re currently re-watching the West Wing to remember what hope felt like, even though America has been and always will be capitalist and racist. . .but damn it’s a good show)
…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Oh yes, my right wrist actually clicks now, probably from bad form, but I also blame my dissertation and novels for this. I’ve noticed over the last few months, since I’ve been writing on my laptop on the couch or bed, my wrist has been really unhappy, so I’m trying to be more conscious of this. I can’t wait to someday have my own desk and hopefully that will help!

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

*runs to knock on wood* thankfully not yet? I’m pretty paranoid about this (and most things) so fingers crossed.

…forgotten to save my work/draft

😦 Ok so it wasn’t so much that I forgot, it was that Microsoft Word was a dick and froze/crashed after I saved, but it hadn’t actually saved. OR my personal favorite, when it froze DURING autosave and crashed. In the last year I’ve only been writing on Google Docs (yay Chromebook), and I thought I would never have that problem again, but I’ve also weirdly had problems with Google Docs being SUPER slow to save, or seeming to freeze while saving, or even writing this blog post now, it’s been REALLLLY slow, so I might need to get that checked out. . .(Also I seem to have the worst luck with technology, so it could just be that too.)

…finished a novel.

Yes *cue sobbing* I finished my third novel in July, and it was pretty emotional because that novel helped me get through the first half of this year, and lockdown, and the first wave of shit that’s hit the world. It was my escape, it was my refuge, and it was the book I’ve always wanted to write about Venice. I really need to polish and revise it, but I’m proud of it. I have a few more ideas brewing too, for new WIPs, so hopefully I’ve got a few more novels coming.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

Umm maybe, although I tend to keep all of my noises in my head. I do tend to mimic whatever facial expression I’m writing about though, and only realise it afterwards, so that’s fun.

…cried while writing a scene.

Yes, but only because I think I was also going through some shit at the same time, so I maybe felt extra emotional and was trying to channel it into the scene.

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

YESS I LOVE MAPS. I’m a nerd for maps.

…researched something shady for a novel.

Oh heck yeah, don’t we all? But I’ll leave it to your imagination what my google history is filled with 😉

Thanks again to Nicole, and to The Long Voyage who started this tag! I tag anyone who also wants to do it!

Thanks for reading.

~M

2 thoughts on “Never Have I Ever: Writer Edition

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s