Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sunshine Award

I'm still reading Game of Thrones, but you should expect a review by Saturday! In the mean time, the wonderful Laura has passed on the Sunshine Award, which is a nice bit of fun.

The rules are:
1) Answer the ten questions below
2) Give ten random facts about yourself
3) Pass on to ten different people

Panster or plotter?
For the most part plotter. I do like writing as a panster (writing basically without outline, freely creating the plot as you go along), and I recently did do that with my short story collection, which was fun! But for novels, definitely plotter. For me, it's really invaluable, and it helps me get everything so much clearer in my mind when I'm writing.

Do you listen to music whilst writing?
Yes, generally. On the rare occasion I'll find a song which really fits a scene I'm writing, so I'll end up listening to it constantly until the scene has been finished. Then when I hear the song again, it makes me think of the scene, which is nice. But usually I'll just be listening to a playlist, or songs from my iTunes.

What genre do you write in?
I tend to write YA, but I've always tended to write for the age I am whilst writing (not my clearest sentence!) so as I get older, perhaps this will change. I also like to write dystopia, and I've even written fantasy before, so it varies!

Books on writing you recommend?
I think instead of reading books on writing, it's better to just read books. Read novels. Read things you want to write yourself. I've learnt so much from reading novels, and it helps me recognise what I like and what I don't like about people's writing styles. This then reflects back onto my own writing skills, and it's a great way to learn. Be a sponge - soak it all up.

Which are your favourite authors?
This is a hard one! George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Scott Westerfeld, Kristin Cashore, Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver...

How long have you been writing?
Most of my life. Since I've been able to hold a pen maybe. But writing seriously... I'd say about three or four years maybe.

What is your favourite part in the writing process?
I think writing the first draft. It's pure creativity and imagination; you can really lose yourself in the writing. Then you have to step off the little cloud of creativity and face the dark pit of editing, which is much more hard work, and a lot longer process.

How do you capture ideas when you're on the go?
My phone. There are a few ideas on memos on my phone, little snippets of ideas waiting to bloom.

How do you handle bad reviews?
I think you have to take bad reviews critically. It is horrible when somebody doesn't like your work. It's not a nice feeling. But it just means you have more work to do; at least they've read your writing. I think sometimes you have to thank their honesty, because people lying to you and saying your work is perfect will never help you progress. For bad reviews I suck it up, try not to get too down about it, then let myself get on with it. If you let the little things set you back you'll never get anywhere.

Worst writing mistake you made?
Probably not proof-reading when I was younger. Editing is so crucial, and it was really arrogant and lazy of me not to bother proof-reading. I'm glad I learned that lesson the hard way!

Now, ten random facts about me;
1) I don't like horror, either as a film or as a novel
2) My first attempt at writing a novel didn't have proper paragraphs (the shame!)
3) I worry that instead of entering the publishing industry I'll be forced to settle for an unrelated job I don't like to do
4) I don't tell a lot of people close to me that I'm a writer
5) I'm very much a liberal, but Ayn Rand's writing is so good she actually managed to make me somewhat conservative in my view of capitalism
6) I love when people write strong female characters that I can admire
7) I still haven't got around to editing my short story collection!
8) I'm planning to possibly volunteer in a library this summer
9) There are far too many books on my to-be-read list and I don't have nearly enough money to get them all
10) The future scares me!

Instead of tagging ten people, I'll leave it up to you as to whether you want to do it. I hope you liked finding out more about me, and my writing!


  1. I'm currently reading Graceling by Cashore and I too love Lauren Oliver! Have you Before I Fall? That one is a good'n:)
    Not often I run into others who have read Ayn Rand. I entered one of the essays contests a few years back for The Fountainhead. She is a distinct writer to be sure - you could take her name off every book she's written and still know it was her :P
    Congrats on the award! And I look forward to your Game of Thrones review:) Its very high up on my to-read list and I can't wait to read it!


    The Fiction Diaries

    1. Before I Fall is on my to-be-read list, I really want to read it! I love Ayn Rand. It's such a shame that not enough people have read her works, I think she's absolutely amazing, both as a person and a writer. I agree! She has such a distinctive style! Thank you, Katie. I've just finished it and trust me, when you get round to it you will love it!