Michelle at Sidereal Day tagged me for a new tag: The Confessions of a Writer Tag! I always feel like I’m the last blogger on earth to get round to doing tags, so it’s lovely to be in on the ground floor for once. Thank you, Michelle 🙂
The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.
Rules of the Tag:
- Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
- Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
- Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!
- When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
I recently found lots of short stories I had to write for English classes in high school. A couple of them were ok! I’ve always enjoyed writing but never aspired to write as a full-time job until recently.
- What genre do you write?
My finished novel and novel in progress are both contemporary romances. Think more Pride and Prejudice than Mills and Boon though! My short stories all seem to be sci-fi/fantasy/magic realism. All the more unusual and fun stuff that doesn’t make it into the novels 🙂
- Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
I’m currently working on my second novel. I started in June and it was going really well until I hit 47,000 words and stalled. I’ve signed up to NaNoWriMo in the hope that I can kickstart the project again and see if I can get up to 80,000 words and perhaps finish a first draft before the end of this year.
- What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
I can remember having to write an annual “What I did on my holidays” piece every September at primary school. Happy days.
- What’s the best part about writing?
Writing the “turning point” scenes. They’re usually the ones with the high drama rather than the usual simmering levels of conflict.
- What’s the worst part about writing?
The middle 30,000 words of a novel. The beginning is really exciting and you’re looking forward to the resolution at the end. In between that you have to slog through the middle while keeping it fascinating so you keep your readers with you.
- What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)
Sophie Hatter in Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones. I love how she deals with Howl’s moods. She’s wonderfully grumpy as well as tremendously productive.
- How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
I used to write during my toddler’s afternoon nap. I used to get at least a good hour a day. A couple of months ago he quit his naps. I think this might also explain why my second novel stalled. I’ve tried to write in the evenings instead but by the time he goes to bed my brain refuses to be creative 😦
- Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?
I didn’t study writing. I studied English Literature at university though. Unfortunately, spending three years studying some of the best writing in the English language intimidated the heck out of me and stopped me writing anything for about 5 years.
- What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?
They all bother me. It’s incredible how you can’t see your own errors. Your brain sees what it wants to. Hence the importance of proofreaders.
- What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
You can’t edit a blank page. You might cringe at what you’ve written recently, but try not to worry about it too much. You may end up cutting that whole scene when you start editing.
- What advice would you give to another writer?
Unless you only write for your own pleasure, share your writing with others and ask for honest, constructive feedback. Some of the comments I got from my beta readers on my first novel were nothing short of genius and I made some major changes as a result. Also, if you can’t get to a writing course or writing group, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a book about how to improve your writing. I’ve found a couple really helpful.
- What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
When I was editing my first novel I found Red Pencil Round-ups over at Wow! Women on Writing useful.
- Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I love the cinema. Before having my son I used to go a lot. Now not so much 😦 But I still keep up to date with new releases. I saw The Martian last week and thought it was a great adaptation. Although the book is better 🙂 I also bake quite a lot. You can take a look at my photos and recipes if you click on the “Baking” section of the top menu above. Meanwhile, here is a gratuitous picture of my raspberry ripple sponge cake:
- What is the best book you’ve read this year?
It’s currently a four-way tie. The Martian by Andy Weir; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab; and Vicious also by V.E. Schwab. Of those, I would guess the first two would have a wider appeal. V.E. Schwab’s books are fantasy/sci-fi and might not be for everyone (oh but please give them a try, they’re so good!).
- What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
The Martian. I’ve also seen Magic Mike XXL which was far more entertaining than I thought it would be and truly hilarious in places.
- What is your favorite book or series of all time?
I’ve already mentioned Howl’s Moving Castle… I’m also a big fan of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster novels. The narrative voice is wonderful.
- Who is your favorite author?
Just one? Come on! So many… To name one: the late, great, Terry Pratchett. My son is named after one of my favourite Discworld characters. That’s how big an impact his fiction has had on me.
- What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
NaNoWriMo to see if I can get the second novel nearer completion. I’d also like to do something with a couple of short stories I have sitting around. Perhaps enter some competitions?
- Where else can we find you online?
I’m on Twitter @ClaraVal.
I would like to tag five wonderful fellow writers:
- Louise at fabricating fiction
- Simon at SFarnell
- K.J. Chapman
- Emily at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
- Anita Kushwaha
I hope you guys have the time to take part. And thank you again to Michelle for tagging me!