May 15, 2019

Writing Q & A #3

For this Q & A, I combined two short "Asks" from my Tumblr. Feel free to use these questions, as well as those from the first two Q & As, in your own blogging, fellow writers!

Poetry Questions

Q: Do you tend to focus more on word play or imagery in your poems?
A: I do a little of both. Although I like stark, clear images, I tend to write about abstract concepts, which don't always lend themselves to imagery. I'm actually not that into metaphors, but I love using wordplay to create connections between unlike concepts instead.

Q: Do you tend to write long or short lines? Long or short stanzas? Long or short poems?
A: When left to my own devices—that is, when I'm not writing a specific form—I tend to write short lines, medium to long stanzas, and poems that are about a page in length.

Q: What tends to be the subject of your poems (your own life? society? nature? literary or historical figures?
A: If you've read enough of my poems, you'll know that most of them are either about fictional characters or about nature. In terms of themes and motifs, I have an infatuation with black and white. I also like writing about betrayal, insanity, and ostracism.

Q: Have you ever written a poem for a specific person or event? Who or what was it for?
A: Yes! "Poem for Sarah in October" was, as the title implies, written for one of my friends, Sarah.

Q: Are your poems typically first, second, or third person?
A: First and second person. I love writing poems in the POV of a specific character who is addressing someone else.

Q: How do you get ideas for your poems? Does it start with a good sounding line? A concept you want to explore? An image that you’ve seen?
A: My poems usually begin as a combination of a line and a concept. There will be some phrase in my head that I think sounds cool ("No use waxing or waning poetic", or "I was born a guillotine"), often related to a character I want to get in the head of. That's just how my brain works!

Prose Questions

Q: What is your approach to world building?
A: I tend to go very much with the flow, starting with the basic concepts of the setting and letting them take me where they will. Sometimes, questions will arise: What would an admittance test to a magic school look like? In a world where psychics are accepted, how would they feel about spectral evidence? What would count as "merit" in a goblin meritocracy? These demand answers, which then lead on to more world details, and so on.

Q: How do you choose where to end a chapter?
A: I think of chapters as episodes, so I end either when that small part of the story concludes, or on a nice cliff-hanger.

Q: How do you choose chapter and/or story/book titles?
A: I'm fond of puns and wordplay, but also like evocative phrases. For the novella I'm trying to write, I'm trying for something a little simpler, like a word or phrase that describes something central to that chapter: the setting, what's happening, the theme, etc.

Q: Do you know how your story ends before you start writing?
A: For Styx, not in the slightest! I didn't even know how the first book ended, let alone the entire series. I threw the plot at the wall and saw what stuck! For my novella-in-verse, I of course plotted it all out first before writing anything. As for the alternate-history/fantasy/mystery, I have an ending in mind, but it may change as I start writing; I'll just have to wait and see.  

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