Hello, I am excited to announce something that I have had planned for a few months now!
You may have noticed that at the top of my blog I now have a For Writers page, every week I am going to be interviewing a writer, and hopefully even some authors, to find out more about what inspires them and motivates them to write.
Ever since I started writing last year I have been interested in learning more about other writers so I thought it would be a fun to interview writers at different stages in their writing journey. To start off I thought I would answer the questions myself, but don’t worry I have some great writers lined up for the next few weeks!
I hope you enjoy!
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you? What do you write / what genre? What are you currently working on? Do you have any published works?
My name is Christine and I am a 21 year old student from Scotland. I am currently working on writing stand alone fantasy novels (and I am pretty excited about them!) I am working on editing the first draft of my first ever book however I took a break for a month. I don’t have any published works but I hope to one day self-publish one of my books and get the story out there.
2. When did you first start writing and what motivated you to start?
I first started writing last year after being unable to get an idea out of my head. I was tired of not finding exactly what I wanted in books so I thought I might as well try to write something myself. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving writing and haven’t been able to stop thinking of ideas since.
3. What inspires you to write? Can you tell us about the inspiration for any specific pieces of writing you have completed / are working on?
I am very inspired by Scottish folklore and mythology. As I am Scottish myself I’ve always wanted to read a fantasy that was solely inspired by my home. I did a lot of research into folklore, mythology and Celtic civilisations. Whilst researching I came across one specific aspect of Scottish folklore (which I won’t mention) and ended up writing my first book based on it.
4. How important is the planning stage for you? Do you like to plan everything before you start or do you simply start writing with a vague idea in mind?
The most important thing for me is planning the world before I start writing. As I study Geography at university I am very conscious of the fact that everyone is influenced by the landscape they live in. As my world is based on a very early Scotland, I had to do a lot of research into things like animals and plants as so much in the modern world has been imported and did not occur naturally. Whilst I plan my map and the world it helps me think of the society I am creating and scenes pop into my head as I plan out things like forests and valleys.
I like to have a vague plan for my writing, but I mainly try to plan the beginning of the story and have a vague idea for the ending. I think of a lot of my ideas as I write so I try not to have a concrete plan at the beginning.
5. What is your writing process like?
I write chronologically, as in I start at the beginning and finish at the end. But I don’t just sit and write chapter after chapter. Usually I have two or three chapters that I am writing and I jump between them. So I’ll write the main part of a chapter then go away and write something else, then I’ll come back and flesh it out a bit and repeat the process until I am happy and can move on from those chapters.
6. What are your writing essentials / what do you use when you write?
I write using Microsoft Word so I suppose that is an essential as well as my laptop. Although I do sometimes write on the notes section of my phone or in a notebook if I am out of the house. I have one big notebook where I write all my world building,story planning and maps, so I need to keep that close by so I can refer back as I write. Another essential is tea or iced coffee, I can’t eat as I write but I do go through lots of drinks.
7. What is your favourite thing to write? E.g. Dialogue, action scenes, saucy scenes…
I enjoy writing dialogue as I can usually write that quite fast (until I read over it and realise I’ve written ‘said’ 80 times). I just love when the scene comes to you fully formed and once you start writing you just can’t stop. It’s a great feeling to check your word count and realise you managed to write a few thousand words without breaking a sweat, although this sadly isn’t a daily occurrence.
8. What do you think is the most difficult part of writing?
The most difficult thing for me is definitely deciding on names. I finished the first draft of my book and still lots of the characters are called * and the places are numbered instead of named. I like sitting writing and letting the words flow, but I hate having to try and think of place names. It’s so difficult.
9. It is always interesting to know what other writers listen to when writing. Do you listen to music whilst you write? If so, let us know some of the songs which have inspired you the most!
- The Losing Side of History – Bear McCreary (Outlander Soundtrack vol 1)
- Journey to Kattegat – Trevor Morris (The Vikings)
- The Gravel Road – James Newton Howard (The Village)
- Arrival to Earth – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
- Opening – Craig Armstrong (Far From The Madding Crowd)
These are only a few of the songs which have inspired me, I could probably write a whole blog post about the song’s I have been listening to as I write.
10. Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
I don’t struggle with writer’s block, I struggle more with a lack of motivation. I will have lots of scenes in my mind that I could be writing but instead I procrastinate and do something else. Looking at my Pinterest always helps as well as listening to the songs that have recently motivated me on Spotify.
11. How do you go about researching for a new book? Do you have any tips for others who are researching for a book?
I think the easiest way to start researching is on Wikipedia, I am sure you all already know what that is, but it makes researching and jumping between topics so easy. Blogs, visiting museums and watching documentaries are also great ways to research especially if you are basing your writing off of a specific time period or place. Then of course you could read books to research which are usually much more thorough.
12. Where do you find your inspiration for character names and place names? Do you ever name characters after people you know?
For character names I just spend lots of time searching through baby names I like and writing down lists. I find it hard because I choose some names that I love but then I also try to save some of the names I like for future books. I can never have children now because I am out of names for good! I never ever name characters after people I know!
As I mentioned before, I have so many issues when it comes to naming places. I have had a few pop into my mind but for everywhere else I am clueless. I try to look at Scottish Gaelic words and look through maps of Scotland for inspiration. Hopefully I will think of some new names soon.
13. What are your future plans when it comes to writing or even publishing?
In the immediate future I plan to continue working on editing my first book and hopefully one day have it ready to publish. During July I wrote about 13,000 words of a different book and I also have plans written for 3 other books, so I know what I want to write for the next few years.
14. As we all love books I wondered, what are your five favourite books?
- Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- The Winter Sea bu Susanna Kearsley
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
15. Finally, where can we find you on social media? (Add your links below)
Instagram – WeeReader
Twitter – WeeReader
Tumblr – WeeReader
Pinterest – WeeeReader
Thank you all for reading! Feel free to share or leave a comment and let me know what you thought! The next writing post will include one of my closest writer friends, I can’t wait for you to read her interview!