Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Writing Tag

Anne-girl has just started a new writing blog at A Half-Baked Plot so here are my answers to her tag:

What is your favorite kind of cake? If you don't eat cake {because of gluten issues or allergies or diet or whatever} what is your favorite dessert? ~ Ice cream cake with either Oreos or crumbled brownies!

How long have you been writing? ~ I’ve been telling stories ever since I can remember, but I think my earliest typed up tales date to when I was about seven or eight. ;-)

Do you read books and blogs about writing? If so what are some of your favorites? ~ I do (very selectively!), and my favorite books are The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken (beautifully covering the entire creative reading and writing process as a whole), The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (quite pertinent and indispensable), and Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland (striking a perfect balance between structure and flexibility). My favorite writing blog is Weiland’s: Helping Writers Become Authors.

Do you believe it's important to study writing as an art form? Why or why not? ~ I heartily concur in that I think good writing is art, so—yes—it most definitely merits study into all its wonderful depths and complexities! As to a particular level of study: everyone’s learning process is different. Some writers seem to be tremendously helped by in-depth “how-to courses”, etc.—while others prefer to “do their own thing”. Both can do excellent work.

Who's writing has influenced yours the most? ~ It would be hard to pick a single author, but looking at my current WIP: I think Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, G.K. Chesterton, Caroline Dale Snedeker, Margaret Leighton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Joseph Conrad are all playing a part. Quite a mix!

Do you consider writing more important than food? Why or why not? ~ When I first read this question I actually got thinking about it along rather deep lines… Because, Biblically speaking, I think there’s actually a strong connection between the two—that is, between word and food. So I’m not sure I could pick. :-)

Tell us the thing you are most excited about with your writing. ~ Metaphor. I love crafting with metaphor and studying its incredible ability to tie different plot threads together while adding depth and meaning to a story.

What are you dreading most in your writing? ~ Starting new chapters! Story openings haven’t been tremendously hard thus far, but I have a dreadful procrastination habit when it comes to figuring out the opening scene of a chapter.

Would you rather have people love your book now or be considered a genius after you are dead? ~ I would be thrilled if people loved my writing now (it’s such an encouragement!), but then—again—there’s the long term perspective. Part of what makes something worthwhile and classic is having it stand the test of time.

Thank you, Anne-girl! Good questions!


  1. That chocolate cake looks scrumptious--I wouldn't mind eating a bite for breakfast!

  2. I love your answers. :) I've checked out the writing blog you think useful and I must say thank you, because I LOVE it!

    1. Naomi -- Oh, I'm so glad! And you're most welcome! Yes, "Helping Writers" is amazing.

  3. Thanks for doing the tag. Ice cream with crumbled brownies! That sounds heavenly!

    1. Anne-girl -- You're welcome and thank you so much for doing it! They were great questions! And yes, ice cream and crumbled favorite birthday cake. ;-)

  4. Now I Really Want Cake. Really really really. Hmmm. ::Begins to plot devious reasons for "needing" to run to the store to get something indispensable and then returning with cake::

    I actually struggle a bit with chapters too, just in when they should end and begin. Sometimes I just have a feeling that "the next chapter starts now," but other times I'm left to counting. "It's been X number of pages since I started this chapter, so maybe it's time for a new one?"

    1. Hamlette,
      Oh my, cake... ;-) Cake with chocolate mousse filling? Rich chocolate cake with ice cream??

      And yes, I like having well thought out chapter beginnings and ends. My first chapter in ODS did turn out inordinately long--and I'm trying to keep them all roughly the same length--so I somewhat arbitrarily divided it in two to make a shorter and longer chapter. An even break would have fallen really awkwardly. As it is, it's now the first chapter that's shorter, so I'm hoping it should rather keep the reader's attention than otherwise. :-)

    2. This morning I am specifically wanting a slice of this cake they have at the IKEA cafeteria. Hmph.

      When I write, my stories kind of unspool like movies, so I tend to put chapter breaks where the breaks would go in a movie. So I kind of have short chapters sometimes, lol.

    3. Hamlette,
      Oh my… We don’t have Ikea down here, but my grandparents do up in Illinois so they’ll bring down jars of Lingonberry preserves for us sometimes…(that wonderful Scandinavian thing popping up again ;-)). So good on pancakes! And probably in cake filling, too, come to think of it… :-)

      And that makes complete sense! I have three (well--really four) primary characters in ODS, so I’m trying to end a chapter with one character and then open the next with another--hoping it’ll help in building suspense and cutting down confusion. But of course it’s always open for change in the final draft!

    4. I'd never been to Ikea before we moved here, but now we go there several times a year. I like their organizational stuff, the kids love their playplace, and sometimes we have lunch there with friends. Their lingonberry preserves are great! And they have such nummy cinnamon rolls too. And these smoked salmon wraps :-9 I'll stop now.


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