(I’m ridiculously hyper, so just ignore all this)
01: When did you first start writing?
Almost as soon as I knew how to draw letters! Seriously though. I wrote journals and journals of stories in first grade. The stories had plots n’ stuff, too. I knew how to write before then, of course, but first grade is really when it took off.
02: What was your favorite book growing up?
I really liked Skinnybones by Barbara Park. It’s quite hilarious.
03: Are you an avid reader?
Not as avid as I’d like to be, but that’s mainly due to a lack of free time. I read when I can, though!
05: Did you take writing courses in school/college?
Damn straight! I love writing courses. It’s always fun to have an “excuse” to write fiction during the school year. Also, reading other peoples’ stories = super fun.
06: Have you read any writing-advice books?
I’ve read excerpts of Stephen Kings’ On Writing.
07: Have you ever been part of a critique group?
Do peer critiques in my writing classes count? If so, yes.
08: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
I was told by like three people that my Newton v. Leibniz essay sounded like it came out of the New York Times, so that’s pretty cool.
09: What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
I wrote Andy’s Story back when my writing was even worse than it is today (shocking, huh?), and I remember during the class critique of it, this one guy latched on to this really small error I’d made in a detail and he just railed the entire story because of that. Like, really dude? It could have been fixed by a single word, it wasn’t like I had a plot hole the size of the moon or something.
10: What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?
Like, in general? I think my biggest pet peeve, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in published work, is when there’s a huge string of dialogue (like seven sentences) and only at the very end do we learn who said it.
Example: “I like to drink water from a faucet. But sometimes I use telekinesis to bring the water to me from across the room. It’s fun. But it’s also messy if I forget to bring a cup or if I try to bring too much water. I also like fajitas and doing the Macarena,” Stevey said.
I just think it flows better if we break up the dialogue and know that Stevey is talking before we get five sentences of what he’s saying.
11: What’s your favorite book cover?
This gorgeous thing:
12: Who is your favorite author?
14: What’s your favorite writing blog?
I don’t have one.
15: What would you say has inspired you the most?
That’s…a hard question. I don’t know if this counts as inspiration, but I’ve always been interested in the concept of lack of control, and thus many of my stories deal with this subject.
16: How do you feel about movies based on books?
I’m always hesitant to see them, at least if the movie is based off of a book I really enjoy (which is why I didn’t go see The Great Gatsby, even though Leo is awesome).
17: Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?
For most of my stories, it would be hard to turn them into anything involving a visual aspect (so any medium from the above list, haha). Prime wouldn’t work; the scarecrow one would be pretty tricky, as would Arborhood. I suppose you could do the latter two as movies, though.
18: How do you feel about love triangles?
Meh. Give me love dodecahedrons, then we’ll talk.
19: Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
Definitely computer. I’m faster typing than writing.
20: What’s your favorite writing program?
Uh…Microsoft Word? Haha, that’s all I ever use, I don’t use that fancy-shmancy technology like those punk kids use.
21: Do you outline?
PFFFT, no. If I try to outline I fail miserably.
22: Do you start with characters or plot?
23: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?
Favorite: Letting their personalities develop from the story rather than having preconceived ideas of who they are.
Least favorite: The above method of creating characters leading to character inconsistencies that I have to fix later.
24: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of plotting?
Favorite: working in a twist somewhere. It can be big or small, but there’s gotta be a twist.
Least favorite: knowing the best place to start so that the plot is concise but complete.
25: What advice would you give to young writers?
Write! WRITE LIKE THE WIND, YOUNG SON!
26: Which do you enjoy reading the most: physical, ebook, or both?
Physical. I’ve actually never read an ebook.
27: Which is your favorite genre to write?
With each story I write I’m heading in the “bizarro fiction” direction more and more.
28: Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
If we’re talking about writing rather than ideas: the freaking end. It’s so hard to end it “just right” so that you’re not ending too early but also not wrapping things up with a neat little bow.
If we’re talking about ideas rather than writing: the beginning. I never, ever know how to start a story.
29: Which do you find easiest: writing or editing?
30: Have you ever written fan-fiction?
OH-HO-HO-HO, don’t even ask about that 217-page abomination.
31: Have you ever been published?
I had a few crappy poems published in high school. Does that even count?
32: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
Eh, I don’t mind it. Unless it’s the fanfic. That’s for my eyes only.
33: Are you interested in having your work published?
Definitely! Though I think my stories are, in general, too “out there” for publishing. Like, who the hell would want to publish Prime? Or that scarecrow story?
34: Describe your writing space.
I can write anywhere as long as it’s quiet, but I really find it easier to think/concentrate in a library.
35: What’s your favorite time of day for writing?
Usually late at night. Though writing on the bus is actually not too bad, either.
36: Do you listen to music when you write?
On occasion. I can only listen to music without lyrics, though, or else I get distracted. But usually no, I write to silence.
37: What’s your oldest WIP?
Probably Prime. Though I haven’t technically worked on that story since mid-2013.
38: What’s your current WIP?
39: What’s the weirdest story idea you’ve ever had?
(I have to say Prime again here, sorry.)
40: Which is your favorite original character, and why?
I’m partial to i, the imaginary unit from Prime. He was a snarky little bugger. He was also pretty complex (ha!).
41: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline?
I HAVE NO OUTLINE. I AM GODBERRY: KING OF THE PLOT
42: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?
43: Have you ever killed a main character?
Welcome to How to Write a Claudia Story: The Basics
44: What’s the weirdest character concept you’ve ever come up with?
Uhhhhhhh…probably i again. He was only around for like 4 pages, but he was my fave.
45: What’s your favorite character name?
I think Arrodine (pronounced ARROW-dine), the name of one of my trees in my current NaNo, is a pretty badass name.
46: Describe your perfect writing space.
A library computer lab! I’d also like to have people around me (though not too close to me, of course), because for some reason I work better when I’ve got other people working in my general vicinity.
48: If you could write the next book of any series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?
I still think I should write that super dark version of The Brave Little Toaster (yes I know that wouldn’t be “next in the series” but SHUT UP it’s a good idea). Remember my idea for “Burnt?” Blankie goes psycho because of lack-of-the-Master, leads the other appliances out into the forest based on his hallucinations, then systematically murders them all?
(Next NaNoWrimo, I promise.)
49: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?
Collaborating with Stephen King to write “Burnt” would be the best thing ever. It’d be like Christine but with a blanket. This NEEDS TO HAPPEN.