Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Questions From Mik

Here are the rules: If you feel like playing, leave me a comment asking to be interviewed!

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. When you get a critique on your work and you don’t like what the reviewer has to say, how do you handle it?

My knee-jerk reaction is to fire up the flame-thrower, because this dumbass obviously does not have the sense to successfully pick his/her own nose and doesn't deserve to live. Plus, they have attacked my baby, and I just can't abide that.

Over the years, I have learned to let this reaction pass by. I always think seriously about what reviewers/critiquers have to say. If it is an obvious argument ad hominem, I ignore it. If it is obvious the reader missed the point, I have to consider why. It could be the story is just too subtle. Other than that, I consider what they have to say in the context of the story itself. I take what I find useful and leave the rest. Ultimately, I have to take responsibility for my own work and make my own decisions based on what I know or think I know. I always appreciate input, positive or negative. It all allows me to improve my writing skills.

2. What is your biggest creative challenge?

Trusting myself. I am so paranoid about my ability that I often paralyze myself for fear that I will look like an idiot in front of other people. I don't trust my ideas, my plotting skills, my character development, or anything. On those occasions when I can just relax and let the words flow, I am a very good writer. Those occasions are far too few, but I am trying to take a more confident approach and learning to just stay out of my own way.

3. When you get fired up about a new project, how long does it take you to complete it from start to finish?

Anywhere from one day to never. I have knocked out a good 1500 word article in three hours. A decent short story will take usually 4-5 hours writing time spread over 2-3 writing sessions on different days, maybe a week total. On the other hand, I have way too many unfinished stories, essays, and articles lying around in various states of disrepair. Finishing is hard for me. See Question 2, above, for reasons. It's a real problem that I recognize and am trying to resolve.

4. How many novels have you completed, which is your favorite, and why? (HA, I copied Jen on that one…)

You mean read or written? Hee hee. I have yet to complete writing a novel. I have a couple of skeletons of novels that I will one day bury in the back yard. I am still very enthusiastic about Washed in the Blood, my current WIP, and I will finish it. I will. Right now, I'm still recovering from an overdose of writing advice, but I'm getting back to the point that I can suppress the Internal Critic/Editor/Abuser and just write the damn thing. Once I get the first draft finished, I can start worrying about "fixing" things.

5. What is the one writing tool you absolutely cannot live without?

Microsoft Word's Spell Checker. LOL. Actually, I would have to abstract that idea and say "word processing software". Until the advent of decent word processors, I was a truly lousy writer. My notebooks filled up with cross-outs and misspellings. My attempts at using a typewriter were disastrous. Error-free pages were precious, indeed, and jammed keys a constant distraction. The computer allows me to focus on the thoughts and phrasings. I let it worry about spelling, grammar, formatting, carriage returns, etc.

Do you dare? Do you dare me to ask you 5 questions? Leave me a comment if you would like to play.

Thanks, Mik! Anything that forces me to look inside and think about what makes me run is valuable indeed. This exercise was quite beneficial.


At 5:33 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

GREAT answers! See there? It wasn't that bad. ;)

Okay. I'll play again. Interview me!

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Heather Lynne said...

Do I have to stop balling to play? :wink:

Go ahead. Ask away. I have no fear.


At 7:55 AM, Blogger Carter said...

OK, you asked for it!

Heather - I may not be the right one for you to ask about that. ;-) Personally, I'm always willing to let the questions wait...


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