I have another Q&A for you all! This time I am answering questions related to writing.
Firstly, I have to say that I am in no way an expert on writing. I tried writing for the first time in October 2015 and so I am still very new to this whole thing. I do not have any published work and despite my lovely friends and critique partner liking my work, it could still be pretty rubbish. Take my answers with a pinch of salt!
1. What kind of writing do you do? (from Sawyer_Peyton18)
I was slightly unsure about what “kind” of writing I do, so apologies if this answer is not what you are looking for. I am writing fiction inspired by Scottish folklore and mythology. I find it easiest to write in first person and my book has three points of view.
2. What genre is your novel? (from AlyaOfWinterfell)
My book is a fantasy. I think it would maybe be young adult, but I had no specific age group or genre planned when I started writing. I just know that I would die of embarrassment if I tried to write anything saucy and so it is definitely not going to be adult. However, I also think that too many bad things happen for it to be a book for younger readers *evil laugh*.
3. What first inspired you to use Scottish folklore and mythology in your writing? (from CosyReads)
I love reading about the folklore and mythology in different countries. Most books based on Scotland are historical fiction or saucy novels. So I decided to try writing a whole world based on Scottish mythology and folklore because that’s what I’ve always wanted to read.
4. What do you think is the best way to come up with inspiration for a novel? (from epm_x)
For me I get inspiration by doing research, listening to music, going on Pinterest and reading other fantasy novels to see what I do and do not like in a book. I would definitely suggest doing research to get inspiration. If you know what topic you want to write about or what you want to base your book on, you will find heaps of information about it somewhere online. Wikipedia is great for just scrolling through loads of topics, you end up learning so much.
5. Has the idea for your book changed in any way since you’ve been writing? (from InfinitelyNovel)
Ooh I love this question. I started out with a very basic idea and since then I’ve added two new points of view. So my main character’s journey has changed a lot as now I have three interwoven plots instead of just the original one. I only had a vague plan when I started and so the general idea is still the same.
6. What are the best ways to develop an idea? (also from epm_x)
So, other than the book I am currently writing, I have a few other ideas for books. Although they are not my focus, I am still developing the ideas whenever things pop into my head. Whenever I get any ideas or inspiration I make sure to write them down. I often find that as I write down my basic idea, my mind goes crazy and soon I have pages of information. It’s great to have these notes to look back on. Again, I think research really helps to develop and flesh out ideas. I also think that talking about your idea with someone you trust can be really helpful.
7. Did you draw a map of your world and where your characters are travelling? Or do you keep it all in your head? (from AForestofBooksandMemories)
I drew a vague map whilst I was planning my fantasy world and as I’ve been writing I have been keeping track of the characters on a separate map. I think world building is very important and so a map helps me. I study geography and so I wanted the landforms etc to be as realistic as possible (they probably aren’t though…). I need to draw it all out or else I would completely forget where the characters were as they travelled. I still don’t have names for the majority of locations and so everything is currently just numbered.
8. How does one start to write a book? (from ManonAndHerBooks)
Before I started writing I bought a notebook and started to do some world building. As I am working with a world I have created myself, I needed to have good foundations before I started writing. People are influenced by their landscapes and so I thought of a lot of the plot whilst I planned the world.
Next I would say just start writing! That isn’t the best advice but you never know what you are capable of until you try. I have found that a lot of my ideas have popped into my head as I write and so I don’t worry too much about having the whole plot written out. Writing takes time and so you don’t need to rush and figure everything out straight away.
9. Do you outline before you write or do you just start writing with an idea in mind and see what you end up with? (from PaperandWords_)
I had a very basic outline before I started writing. I knew what I wanted to happen and had a vague idea about what would happen at the very end. My plot grew so much as I wrote and came up with ideas on the spot. I think as you write, you get to know your characters and the world more and so it becomes easier to think of new ideas.
10. How long did you initially spend in the planning aspect of your book? (from FlickOfAPage)
I spent a few weeks planning my book in October, but that was mostly world building and doing research. I wrote the first 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo during the November and so I did a lot of planning for the future as I wrote.
11. Do you ever listen to music while you write? Have any particular songs inspired certain scenes you’ve written? (from EvieHerondale)
I either listen to the same songs on repeat or I need silence to concentrate. Here are five songs that I’ve been loving writing to recently:
- Mrs. Fitz – Bear McCreary (Outlander series 1 soundtrack).
- Journey to Kattegat – Trevor Morris (Vikings soundtrack).
- Scarborough Fair – Celtic Women (A New Journey).
- Arrival to Earth – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers: The Score).
- Opening – Craig Armstrong (Far from the Madding Crowd).
12. How much do you write (How often, how many pages, etc)? (from TheWarlockMerlin)
Right now I am forcing myself to sit down and write everyday, however when I am feeling less motivated then my writing is quite random. I usually write about 2,000 – 3,000 words a day. It depends on what scenes I am working on and how much planning for the rest of the book I need to do. I write in chunks and so I don’t often sit and type a whole chapter from start to finish. I jump between scenes and chapters and build up full chapters over time. I think it’s good to go away and come back rather than type a whole chapter in one go.
13. Would you rather never have something you wrote published or have never written it? (from llxm__)
I would much rather never have anything published. Writing this first book has made me realise just how much I love writing and I really love the story I have created. My mind is always thinking of new ideas, especially in the shower, and so I don’t think I could stop writing now if I tried. It would be so sad to have never discovered this part of myself.
14. Any tips for writing fantasy? (from Books_And_Tea22)
Plan your world. The world around characters influences everything about them. Their culture, the way they view others and animals, what they eat, how their everyday life fits around the terrain, what clothes they wear,the music they play, their beliefs. Everything! So even if your writing is very character based, I would still recommend spending some time planning before you start writing. I would also suggest you try to plan out the magic system (if you have one) even if that depth of information isn’t mentioned in the book, it’s still good to know as much as you can.
15. When way the first time that you realised you wanted to be a writer? (from TheCrownedGoddessReads)
When I was younger I used to want to be an author, but then I grew up and realised that it really wasn’t a realistic goal (perhaps I am pessimistic). I realised that I wanted to write the moment I thought of my idea. Once I got the idea in my head I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I just had to try to write it.
16. Who was your biggest influence to write a book? (from Sey_Books)
My main influence is definitely Sarah J Maas. Although its not her books that inspire me, although I love them. Listening to interviews and reading her blog about writing is so motivational as she is so passionate about the characters and worlds she has created. Whenever I have a writing slump or get down about things I re-watch interviews and her love for writing always reminds me that I love it as well.
Thank you so much to everyone over on Twitter and Instagram who asked me some questions! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers, if you have any more questions feel free to leave them in the comments below!