Esti (estarriel) wrote,

Writing Meme: Day 23, 24, 25

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

The fastest I've ever done this was March 1, 1997, when I wrote the entirety of Molly's Folly in a single day and posted it.

The fact that I remember the date may say something about the significance of that event, though I think it probably says more about how I have an amazing memory for dates. That said, I often wish I could write as quickly as I could at age 14. My quality is rather better now, but I did okay for a 14-year-old, I think. (I still kind of hate Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.)

My typical pace is somewhat slower, comparable to the pace of glaciers. (Which is not what it used to be! Thanks, global warming! Now I don't feel so slow!) I did once finish a complete novel-length manuscript in 90 days (I think it was about 75K) but the ending was totally unsatisfactory, so I had to revise a lot, and then rethink even more. It was finished at the end of 2007. I am now working on it again.

Of course, I've already distributed it once...or half of it, anyway, so if that constitutes "posting," then I guess it took me about a year and a half? Haha.

The time I'd really like to gauge is the time from starting a manuscript to querying agents for it, but I haven't gotten to that stage yet. I'm currently making a concerted effort!

I used to post more on the Internet, and managed maybe a story every three months, but I don't do that anymore. First publication rights on novels and all.

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

If the plot "demands" it, sure. That is, if the death is necessary to make the point the story is supposed to make.

So yes, I'm totally willing to write about deaths of significant characters.

I'd like to turn this question around and say what bothers me more are stories that kill characters off just to add drama to the story. The question I would ask myself is whether that character adds more to the story alive or dead. If they still have something to add by living and interacting, you better not kill them off just for drama points. I've seen a few stories do that and that was a real let-down.

On a slightly related tangent, I'd just like to say that J.K. Rowling created one of the most obvious "created to die" characters ever in the history of literature. I'm not saying that one was a cheap trick; on the contrary, it worked. I'm talking about the person who dies in Order of the Phoenix. Yup, saw that coming like a ZILLION miles away, like I bring up every time character death comes up ever. To bring that around to the point of this story, as much as I liked the character who died, it was clear that he served the story more by dying at that point. (That's why his death was so easy to predict!)

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

Huh...not really. I like pets (cats especially) so I guess I might give my characters pets, but it has never really come up. Celeste doesn't have any. Azilie doesn't really have any. I guess she probably has some kind of creature she found in the back yard and put in a bucket with some rocks every now and then.

Megan Carlson had like 10 pets, including an African pygmy hedgehog named Quilly Billy. There was also a cat that belonged to the whole family.

Otherwise...nope. No pets. I guess it's never been important to any story. Maybe it will be in the future.
Tags: writing meme

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