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29 June 2014 @ 02:14 pm
Meme (Writing!)  
Taken from awanderingbard:

1. What setting have you written that you would love to go and spend time in, in real life?
2. Are you like one of your characters? Which one? In what way?
3. Would you trade places with one of your characters? Who? Why or why not?
4. What has writing done for you personally?
5. What do you hope your writing does for your readers?
6. Does art imitate life? Or does life imitate art?
7. Describe your drafting and writing process.
8. Do you have any writerly advice for your fellow writers? Show off. Don’t be shy. Tell us what you do well and how you do it.


1. What setting have you written that you would love to go and spend time in, in real life?
I wouldn't mind spending some time in Aziraphale's bookshop. I know the book describes it as something kind of dilapidated but whenever I write it, I always picture someplace small, dusty, but very cozy. I love used bookstores and they're becoming rarer as ebooks take over. I miss being able to hang out in one and in my mind, Aziraphale's completely disorganized, crammed, chaotic shelves are probably pretty great to be surrounded by.

2. Are you like one of your characters? Which one? In what way?
I feel like I put in parts of my personality into all the characters I write, even the villains. The only character who perhaps reminded me most of me was probably Dr. Ortiz, the therapist I gave Sam Wilson. She and I share a lot of same basic information (e.g. psychologist, woman, not white, etc.) and I also wrote her therapy scenes with Sam similarly to how I'd probably actually treat Sam if he were my patient. I mean, minus the more dramatic dialogue. My technique tends to be one that's more direct and encouraging of patients to sit with conflicting feelings which is Dr. Ortiz's overall approach as well.

3. Would you trade places with one of your characters? Who? Why or why not?
I wouldn't mind trading places with Sophie Taylor, my OC who marries adult Adam Young for maybe a week. But beyond that my characters tend to lead difficult lives so I'd rather stick to mine.

4. What has writing done for you personally?
It's allowed me to keep my imagination fresh and to interact with some very cool people online. It's also given me a creative way to examine and speculate on human behavior which is the much more fun way to learn psychology. At least for me.

5. What do you hope your writing does for your readers?
At best I hope my writing has provided some entertainment for my readers. I don't really write fluffy or happy stories so I can't provide "I've had a bad day and need something sweet to read" fics. But I do hope I can provide "I've had a bad day and I want to read about *insert character here* suffering as well" fics.

6. Does art imitate life? Or does life imitate art?
Art tends to imitate life for me. Mostly. Over the past few years, most of my fics have touched on some sort of psychology-related issues/disorders, etc which is definitely due to my graduate studies.

7. Describe your drafting and writing process.
I...sort of don't have a consistent one. Some stories I can bang out in one sitting which I type on Word and then re-read to see how it flows before posting. Other stories I have to revisit over and over and peck away at it until it forms. In terms of story formulation, I tend to draft a lot of things in my head during my commute such as bits of dialogue and big plot moments.

8. Do you have any writerly advice for your fellow writers? Show off. Don’t be shy. Tell us what you do well and how you do it.
I've been told I write morally ambiguous characters and angsty stories pretty well so I'll just give my take on how I tend to approach them.

Morally ambiguous characters:
All characters need a motive and a legitimate reasoning for doing what they do. Even the worst villain who is unambiguously evil has a reason for being like that. Even if the motivation is straight out, "I love seeing others suffer," you as the writer should know what about witnessing someone else in pain the villain finds so appealing. If your villain (or anti-hero) is more a shade of grey, it's good to know where they draw lines at things. When I wrote Zola, I knew he was someone who would do anything to get results but there always had to be the goal of results. He wouldn't just needlessly torture someone because it was fun or because it gave him some sense of power. He would actually find that sort of behavior beneath him because he'd see it as animalistic and Zola prizes his intellect above all things.

Angsty stories:
I'm tempted to say I only write angsty stories so it's not so much a skill as the only thing I do. However, I think my stories tend to get angsty because I think life for most of the fandoms I write in is often harsh on the characters. I could just try to write a story about the Avengers throwing Steve a birthday party (and i might!) but I'm usually more curious about the difficult stuff people have to deal with. That being said, I try very hard not to overload on the suffering. I've read fics where the angst levels are so high it starts to feel unrealistic that anyone could ever come back from it. I try to keep the suffering levels in line enough with what I think the character can handle in the amount of time I'll be spending with them. I have left some stories where the ultimate outcome is perhaps a little ambiguous and that's okay because that's also life. Things can end on a hopeful note, rather than be neatly concluded. It's not necessarily your job as a writer to give someone a Happily Ever After. Even if that's what will ultimately happen for them, you are just not the one writing about it.
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The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 29th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind spending some time in Aziraphale's bookshop.

Ah yes, but would he want you in his bookshop? I imagine the longer you stayed, the more flustered he would get. What if you were going to buy a book?!

I have left some stories where the ultimate outcome is perhaps a little ambiguous and that's okay because that's also life. Things can end on a hopeful note, rather than be neatly concluded.

Oddly, despite our parallel fic trench digging, I feel like we have the same views on that. I think my philosophy is 'things suck, but that's okay, we can find joy in other things and we'll get through and carry on'. And yours is more 'things suck, that sucks, it'll probably continue to suck, but what can you do?'. I think my stories are about finding the joy in a difficult life, and yours are exploring the difficulties of a difficult life.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 29th, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, but would he want you in his bookshop? I imagine the longer you stayed, the more flustered he would get. What if you were going to buy a book?!

I promise not to buy anything and if he's that worried, I'll even wear some cotton gloves to prevent finger smudges on delicate paper.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 29th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
I think he'd probably give you a full hazmat suit and stand nearby, watching you through the slits between his fingers over his eyes.

"My dear, this isn't really a place for people to...browse."