Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, September 16, 2013

Questions, Questions, Questions

My writer buddy, Donna, from Donna's Book Pub, tagged me to answer the following four questions. The tag made me a little nervous until I remembered something totally irrelevant from my college days. Good old essay questions. When test time rolls around, if you like to write, you like essay questions. You want essay questions. You pray for essay questions. Not that I had all the answers, mind you, because often I did not. However, give me an essay question and I could make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. But I digress. Let's get on with the (essay) questions...

What are you working on right now?

Well, nothing, but I'm THINKING about what I should be working on. Does that count? If so, let me fill you in. I've got about 2 essays that are "ripening" before I take another look at them, and an idea for a third. Hopefully next week I'll dust off the keyboard and get back to work.

I've also been toying with ideas for one of my NaNoWriMo manuscripts. Rather than focusing on a new NaNo this year, I thought it might be fun to devote the month of November to improving/editing one of my three previous NaNo manuscripts. What good is doing NaNo if the piece never goes any further? The one I wrote last year has been bouncing around in my brain lately and I think I'm ready to go for it. 

How does it differ from other works in the genre?

My 2012 Nano manuscript is an historical fiction story told from the point of view of Jesse James' wife, Zee. I've been considering some unorthodox situations for her, but haven't decided yet whether or not to do it. There are lots of strong feelings (especially in Missouri) about the James legend, and twisting it too much could prove to be highly unpopular. No, I'm not talking about a Vampire Jesse or Zombie Zee. Just a sprinkle of fictional literary spice.

Why do you write what you do? 

I write what moves me. If I can't connect to a story, it's dead in the water. 

What is the hardest part about writing?

3 things are tough for me...discipline, discipline, and discipline. It's redundant but true. I can make any excuse about why I don't have time to write. I'm tired, I need to do laundry, I have to watch a television program or read. Blah, blah, blah. Way too often I treat writing like Scarlett O'Hara would do and figure I'll think about it tomorrow (or next week). 

Recently I read Stephen King's On Writing for the second time. That man writes 2,000 words every single day of the year. He doesn't even rest on Sunday. No wonder he's published at least a bazillion books. Is it possible for a little old slacker like me to tap into that kind of commitment to writing? I sure hope so because I hereby pinkie-swear that I will try harder to accomplish my new writing goal. 250 words a day. Yep, 250 words is better than none, right? Besides, I don't want Mr. King to feel threatened.

Anyway, thanks, Donna, for this chance to ruefully consider my writing habits.

Today my final duty is to tag other writers to answer the same questions. Pretty much everyone who reads Critter Alley is a writer in one form or another. Thus I tag all of you. Tell us a bit about what's going on in your writing world!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Pat--You are so right. If I wrote every day--even Sunday--I might be published in more places.

Good luck meeting your goals. (I'm thinking about doing the same thing for NaNo.)

Zombie Zee does come trippingly off my tongue. I think you need to reconsider... ;)

Two French Bulldogs said...

And you answered very well
Benny & Lily

Unknown said...

Discipline is a definite but we think if you are not in the mood you can't do. There is a fine balance. Have a terrific Tuesday.
Best wishes Molly

Sketching with Dogs said...

The story about Jesse James's wife sounds really interesting. You wonder how they would have felt, it must have been a pretty stressful life.
Ahhhh, discipline - that's where you know you have to do something but have a cup of tea instead.....
Lynne x

Lassiter Chase and Benjamin said...

250 words a day sounds a lot to us. Can u imagine 250 dog treats a day - that would be pure paradise. Keep up the good job writing.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Love the idea of your "Zee" story, especially since you have a strong respect for the legend, because that means no matter what liberties you take you will do so with the legend in mind. Go for it!

2000 words a day. Well, SK certainly has the money to ensure that he has the time to make that happen. Some days I'm lucky to get 50 words on a page---not for lack of interest or desire, but because of time.

Linda O'Connell said...

I write when the spirit moves me. May Zee's spirit move you!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Thanks for playing tag, Pat. Your answers are insightful.

I like your idea of reworking last year's NaNo novel, and I love the Jesse James slant for your novel.

It shouldn't be too difficult to write 250 words a day, but 2000, that's another story (pun intended).

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

The discipline is a big one... Very hard to do!!