The WIP Diaries: I answer questions from you!

Thank you so much to Angela, Genni, Olivia, Lindsey, Zoey, and Olivia-Savannah for asking me questions about my writing process! I had such fun answering. 

Hope you like this post :)

The Questions!

How do you keep yourself motivated / make sure to complete the goals you set for yourself without giving up?

I am not a good goals setter ;) Only recently am I seriously thinking about setting goals for myself. I’m certain they’ll help, I’ve just been procrastinating.

As for motivation: watching YouTube videos on writing, and reading through motivational quotes from other writers.....those can really get me pumped to write. There's also the unquenchable desire to tell my stories and breathe life to the characters in my head. I have to tell their stories. That drives me to write.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?

Brainstorming! Lol that sounds like such a cop-out, but I just love envisioning all the scenes and characters in my head and playing them out like movies to see how they work. I also thoroughly enjoy outlining – I’m a neurotic organsier, so listing scenes and plotting them out is my thing ;)

Do you work on several WIPs at once, or one at a time?

Definitely more than one at a time. I don’t know if that’s always smart, but I can’t help it. The only risk is that I get carried away with a shiny new idea and start working on that when I actually should be spending all of my time on the previous book idea….It runs the risk of not finishing anything. But I try hard to balance them.

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?

Inspiration just happens. Movies, books, real life…I'm perceptive and I try to be aware of what's going on around me so I can use snatches for my writing. I never know when an idea will strike.

Also, since most of my novels are fairy tale retellings, I just examine the original fairy tale and ask “what if?”. That gets me thinking and imagining, and as a result a book idea is usually born.

What's your favourite character you've written and why?

That’s like asking me to pick a child! I love all my characters so much – even the villains. But if I had had had to choose, I think I’d go with Tink (it’s a nickname btw; I haven’t decided on her real name yet) from my Peter Pan retelling. She’s fierce, twisted, broken, and sometimes downright wicked. But she’s hiding a lot of pain, and out of all my protagonists, I think I have the softest spot for her.

How do make your characters realistic? 

I draw on real life emotion and incidents I've experienced and make a note of how they made me feel so I can pass them on to my characters. I also make sure to give each of my characters a quirk - usually something random or weird - and I find that that usually adds some relatability or at least humanity to the person.

What do you find the hardest thing about writing? 

Writing! Ha.

Seriously though: it's the sitting down and writing when you hate every single word you're typing out. It's torture.

More specifically, I think it's also the quieter, slower scenes in my books. I'm big on action, so a quieter scene is usually a struggle. I mean, why can't characters punch each other and jump from moving trains all the time?

Notebooks vs. digital idea keeping: how do you organise ideas?  

Sometimes, if an idea comes out of the blue, I'll scribble it down on the nearest piece of paper or on my phone if there's no paper. But I try to get them onto my Mac at some stage, and make a Microsoft Word document for each individual idea. Then, if the idea grows and develops, I'll make a Scrivener project for it and start fleshing it out.

Do you use spreadsheets? Do you use any special programs to write? plan? brainstorm? 

I use Pinterest to get a feel, or aesthetic, for the story and characters. But otherwise I use Scrivener for everything from brainstorming to plotting to outlining to the actual writing of the book.

How do you keep your character's appearances straight? 

I have them all in my head! Their appearance is glued to their name, so I always know exactly how everyone looks if I know their name. They're not exclusive. But I also use Pinterest to cast each character; there's an image of every person there.

Where do you get your ideas from? Do you start with a "what if" scenario or with a character or with an event, or maybe with a theme/message?

Story idea and characters arrive almost simultaneously. The story idea, whether it's an incident, a setting, or a premise, can come from anywhere: movies, books, real life, or me just daydreaming. And when I get a story idea, a character usually appears at the same time. For example, when I got the idea for my Peter Pan retelling, I immediately knew that the story would be from Tinkerbell's pov and she'd be a rebellious, broken teenage girl. I even knew some of the secondary characters the book would have. 

So yeah. Inspiration can strike at any time, and if I've ever lost for a book idea, I can wrestle one from daydreaming and asking "what if?" I am literally never short for book ideas. Hopefully I'll get to write them all in the future. 

Thank you to everyone who asked me questions! If you're a writer, where do you get the inspiration for your stories? Do you use Scrivener? Do you cast your characters?

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