30-Question Writing Meme

As with most memes I find, I got this one from Vickie, who writes the webcomic UsedBooks.

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

It’s always a toss-up between the world of the XIII series (Anima, St. Placid) and the world of Jekuvia, where all my other stories take place. The world of XIII is based in Greek mythology, so it’s a bit easier, since I’m borrowing from a common source, but the world of Jekuvia is nice because I get to completely make things up.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

Quite a few (I honestly couldn’t give an exact number), but I’m trying to recycle old characters so I don’t have to create new ones. I prefer to write females, but sometimes the males are fun. It’s interesting to get into a male’s POV, being that I am a female.

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

I look for names with good meanings behind them (the character’s personality has to match his/her name meaning in some way), or names that sound cool.

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

One of the first stories I ever wrote (and didn’t finish) was written in probably September 2003 (or even earlier) and it was about a girl that was being stalked by this creepy guy, so she had to find a disguise. The town was all in black-and-white and everyone went by these bizarre nicknames. At some point in the story, the girl went into a parking lot and stole someone’s Geo Metro. I don’t know why it was a Geo Metro… absolutely not worth stealing, but if she wanted to be incognito, maybe it was a good choice.

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

Youngest character… probably Josef, from the XIII series. I think he’s about 4 years old or so. Oldest character… Archiphaeos, also from XIII, who is ancient.

In terms of creation, my oldest characters would probably be Kentaro and Gavin (both from XIII, both villains), who were invented sometime in early 2004.  Newest character… Liam, from SAMSON, which I just finished this past June. Liam is a meanie, but he’s not a villain by any means.

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?

My bedroom. Computer. Morning between the hours of 8 and 12. After that, my brain does not work quite as well.

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

If I listen to music while I write, it has to be instrumental. Vocals distract me. But sometimes I get into a state where I’m so involved in the story that I could listen to anything from country to death metal and it wouldn’t interrupt my thought process. And as for specific songs… I have far too many of them. I guess the most recent one would be “We Are Young” by Fun, which I imagined to be the closing song of SAMSON, mostly because of its references to fire.

8. What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?

I don’t stick to the usual genre conventions when I write. When I read, I read everything. There are very few exceptions to that rule – namely mysteries and westerns.

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

I base characters off people I know, then gradually change them to be less and less recognizable as those real-life people and more as their own characters.

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

All the stuff that happens in the underworld in XIII. But I would say the weirdest was when I was writing SPARKLE GIRL (unfinished) and the characters ended up in a mental hospital, took crazy drugs, and started hallucinating.

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

Hard choice… favorite characters: Naomi, Rachel, Virginia, Irene, Sandra, X, Natasha

Least favorites (mainly because they’re hard to write): Rafe, Shelley, Aeron, any parent characters

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?

I’m not too good with world-building. I suppose the XIII series, since I’ve spent so much time on it, and borrowed a lot from Greek mythology.

13. What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

Rural North Carolina (where I live) because it’s the only one I feel like I can portray with some degree of accuracy.

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

By hand on graph paper. None of the locations I have ever drawn are to scale, but they help when I need to remember the layout of a room or a building. I’d rather not show anything… they’re messy and ill-proportioned.

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

Stephen King, William Faulkner, Tanith Lee, J.K. Rowling, William Shirer, all the writers (aspiring and published) I’ve “met” through blogging, and many more.

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

Romantic relationships fascinate me, so I write about them a lot. Supposedly I’m good at sex scenes, but I won’t go into any more detail.

17. Favorite protagonist and why!

Hands down, Naomi from the XIII series. She’s been (literally) through hell and back, and she is strong in the face of whatever fate happens to throw at her.

18. Favorite antagonist and why!

X from CAIN. He’s fun to write, and he’s messed up in the head, but he also has a soft side.

19. Favorite minor character that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

Carmen. She started out as Maxine’s (sometimes irritating) little sister in STEPHEN, but if I ever rewrite CAIN and RESTLESS, she will have a bigger part in those. I liked her happy-go-lucky, daydreaming character, so she became a favorite.

20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

Scenes where the characters tease each other. Scenes when a character is trying to pry information out of another character.

21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

Quite a few of them do, but their children are not major characters. I’m not that great at writing children; I feel like I don’t relate well to children in real life, thus, I try to avoid writing them.

22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

Ooh, deleted scenes! One where Carly and Jacob were hanging out in the graveyard (Carly’s weird, that’s what she does on weekends… hang out with ghosts.) and Jacob started freaking out because the graveyard was where his mother had been buried (she died giving birth to him).

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 initial writing of the first draft doesn’t take long. Usually around a month, sometimes two or three. Planning varies. Some take much longer than others to plan.

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?

Depends on which characters, but most of the time, I don’t really have a problem killing people off, unless I really liked the character. The most interesting death… Peter dying by spontaneous combustion.

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

The first pets that come to mind are Anastasia’s white fox, Renard (XIII), the giant hunting dog  Khryseos (XIII), and Arthur’s dog Bruiser (CAIN). I don’t think I write pet scenes all that well, which is odd because I’ve always had pets in my life.

26. Let’s talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them?

I can’t draw a straight line, but my boyfriend drew a lot of the characters for XIII. There are times when I really wish I could draw certain scenes, though.

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

I make the appearance match the personality, most of the time. I don’t go into every tiny detail when describing clothing or physical features, mostly because I find it irrelevant. If a certain accessory or item of clothing is mentioned in my story, it’s probably important or will become important.

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

Aeron. He’s hard to write, and gets more messed up as the stories go on, and most of his dialogue eventually devolves into a stream-of-consciousness jumble. I think I may eventually have him go entirely mute.

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

I daydream all the time, mostly while driving back and forth to work. Real life always reminds me of my characters and story.

30. Tag someone!

I don’t tag, but if you want to do this meme, feel free. It was fun. 🙂

3 thoughts on “30-Question Writing Meme”

  1. Thanks for this! Hope you don’t mind that I used it on my blog here: cindersday.wordpress.com

    Hope your writing is going well, Maggie!



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