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Entrance Survey

by on January 4, 2011

So I was looking around the NaNoWriMo forums the other day (wonderful thing, NaNoWriMo, wonderful), and I came across a post about a short story experiment. Here’s the blog of the people who started it. Basically, the idea is to write a short story every week for a whole year, which of course works out to 52 stories. They post a prompt every Monday, and then you write a short story based on the prompt. When I read that, to quote The Terror from the “Arthur’s Bank Account” episode of The Tick, “Hotcha! I’m in like Flynn!” Hm. I wonder who Flynn was, and where he had gotten into? An intriguing thought. But, I digress.

As part of the experiment, they suggested an optional entrance survey that you could take, so you could measure your progress at the end of the year. Right-oh, then, question 1.

1) What are your current writing habits?  Do you have any larger projects in the works?

My writing habits: basically, I try to write in a place with near-absolute quiet. Unlike a lot of writers, I don’t like writing while listening to music. Also, I can’t write after I watch a movie, especially if it’s animated. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if it clutters up my imagination. I would sit down to write about my characters, and instead I’d be picturing Prince Ali (fabulous he! Ali Ababwa!). As far as larger projects, well, I’m editing the sequels to Hailfire. Also, I’m planning to write a longer novel this year. And then of course there’s NaNoWriMo 2011…

2) Name three things you love about your own writing and three skills that you would like to work on this year.  Do you have a list of writing goals for 2011?

Um, well…three things I love. Goodness. Okay, I like my characters, especially when they’re particularly quirky (like Gaseous Girl, for instance. don’t ask). I like the process of creating, when I’m describing a new country or city or superhero or whatnot. And I like when I write something that strikes me as funny, particularly if it’s in that quirky, British-humor, Douglas Adams sort of way. I don’t know if anyone else finds it funny, which leads me to what I want to work on. I definitely want to work on my dialogue; at times, I feel I’m ripping off every cliche in the book, especially when I’m writing a romantical-type scene. Also, description, both of people and places. And lastly, character development. I want my characters to do things instead of sitting around having things done to them, and to change over time like they’re supposed to.

3) What do you find inspiring?

Lots of things. Random thoughts. A stirring line of music. The short story I’m about to write was inspired by a lyric from one of my favorite musicals, My Fair Lady.

4) What sort of things do you currently do to improve your writing?

Well, this, of course. 😛 NaNoWriMo, definitely. Plus I’m in a writer’s group in my area, and that’s tremendously helpful. Just the fact that you can meet face-to-face with people who understand when you agonize about killing off characters or writing good scenes…

5) Are you currently looking for a critique partner or beta readers?  If so, what qualities would you like in a critique partner or beta reader?

I’d have to say not really, since I’m already in the aforementioned writer’s group. So…yeah.

Well, that was fun. This week’s prompt, incidentally: “I hate polite people. Especially when they’re murderers.” Which is a perfect lead-in to my next post, Lady Wagnerian vs. The Sporkster. Stay tuned!



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One Comment
  1. So happy to have you join! I’m gonna read your story now 😀 I already read the first few lines and was already laughing. hehe

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