Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Creative Differences

It turns out that my writing partner in crime, Jenni, and I have some creative differences. And I'm not using creative differences as a nice way of saying we can't stand each other. I mean we have different processes for creating stuff.
Obviously, we have such an awesome friendship because we do have many things in common. However, it seems that when it comes to writing we can't agree on anything. Although, writing Behind the Naugahyde actually goes rather smoothly.

And yes I did post this same quiz yesterday but today it's new and improved. However, since I did post my own answers yesterday I put them in a smaller font today. That means that the smaller font on the red words is not because red is an inferior color to green, which is another subject Jenni and I do not agree on.

1. Do you outline?

Jenni: No, not really. I, sometimes, have the gyst of how I kind of want things to go in my head, but I don't write it down. I sometimes outline lessons plans for school but they are such bare bones that I will even forget what I meant by them.

Ash: Yes, most of the time. Occasionally I do just go on a whim and sometimes I write an outline but don't stick to it at all. I mostly do it because my mind works faster than I type and I think if I write down general notes, like an outline, I won't forget anything.

2. Do you write straight through a book, or do you sometimes tackle the scenes out of order?

Jenni: I kind of like to do things out of order and figure it out later.

Ash: I've always written straight through.

3. Do you prefer writing with a pen or using a computer?

Jenni: Computer, all the way. If I have to write by hand, then with a pen but not a smeary one. Pencils are ok if I'm in the right mood (and they can't be smeary either!).

: I prefer writing with a pen but I hate having to type it in again later. Although, it is a good way to reread and edit what I've already written.

4. Do you prefer writing in first person or third?

Jenni: I do mostly third because so much of my writing has been focused on Behind the Naugahyde or my one-act plays, but often the first person stuff (even if the character is not me at all) can be better (see Six Months to the Day).

Ash: Most of the stuff I've written is in third person. I did do something in second person once and it's my only short story to get published in an actual literary magazine.

5. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, do you create a play list, listen randomly, or pick a single song that fits the book?

Jenni: No! I can't concentrate and write in English if it's anything but silent. I can do German, grading, and puzzles with music. If I had to pick a song to fit Behind the Naugahyde though, I would say "Footloose." LOL

Ash: YES! I always listen to music when I'm writing. Sometimes I pick just one song that fits the book. Other times I pick a few CD's that work. I don't really make a play list though. I don't have the technology to do so unless I want to get up every four minutes and put a new song on, which significantly cuts down on writing time.

6. How do you come up with the perfect names for your characters?

Jenni: For my one-act plays, I take the name of the person in real life who inspired me and mix up the letters to form a new name. Mostly this is why all of the characters in my one act plays have dumb names like Reic or Evest (based on students' names).

Ash: Sometimes I think of names that are similar to the people the characters are inspired by. Not necessarily names that sound or are spelled similar but names that have the same characteristics like short, rare, common, simple. If I'm writing at work sometimes I use the names of shoes or shoe companies.

7. When you’re writing, do you ever imagine your book as a television show or movie?

Jenni: I know exactly how the one-act plays will look on stage, and I have already figured out how Behind the Naugahyde can be made into a movie.

Ash: Not necessarily that it would get made into one of them but I picture them in my head as if they were one and then I write what I see.

8. Have you ever had a character insist on doing something you really didn’t want him/her to do?

Jenni: LOL! Ditto Ash's answer.

Ash: If you count being boring, yes. Otherwise I can't really say that has happened to me.

9. Do you know how a book is going to end when you start it?

Jenni: Usually not, I'm finding out. I like the Frederich Duerrenmatt concept of taking things out to the farthest permutation of what could possibly happen and I try to infuse some of that into my own work but sometimes I get too silly to make it happen.

Ash: Sometimes. Both of my Nano novels, I knew how they would end. Jenni and I kind of had a general idea when it came to Behind the Naugahyde but we've come up with more and more as we go. The novel I'm working on now I have no clue which makes it even more scary.

10. Where do you write?

Jenni: Usually my office/closet/living room area. Although some of my best work off the computer has come from journaling in my college dorm room or at the beach and especially up north.

Ash: Usually in my office. Sometimes I write at work. Other times I write at the library or a coffee shop if it's too hot and I need some free air conditioning.

11. What do you do when you get writer’s block?

Jenni: I don't write. Jacqueline Woodson says there's no such thing as writer's block, only fear. I don't know if I believe that or not, but I don't feel like I get writer's block like not knowing what to write. I more-so get writer's blah, as in, I don't feel like writing (so I don't). It's only a problem if I'm on a deadline. Incidentally, I feel the same way about grading papers (hence posting).

Ash: I go for a walk, watch T.V or a movie, read, listen to music. I do anything but write and hope that something pops in my head.

12. What size increments do you write in (either in terms of word count, or as a percentage of the book as a whole)?

Jenni: It has a sound effect like BLEURGH! It pretty much just comes pouring out when I feel like writing. Poor Ash leaves one chapter up to me and gets sent 27 pages back!

: As much as I can at once. I don't usually get the luxury of writing for as long as I want.

13. How many different drafts did you write for your last project?

Jenni: I wrote two drafts under durress and hated the second. (I was urged to forgo some swearing in my first one-act play - ultimately, I liked the swearing better and tossed the 'clean' version.) I'm typically a one-draft type of gal.

Ash: My last project would be my last Nano novel and so far I've only written one.

14. Have you ever changed a character’s name midway through a draft?

Jenni: Not on purpose. I get so attached to the character via their name that it's difficult for me. It's like changing the whole character.

Ash: In Behind the Naugahyde, Jenni and I decided on a name for a character. Then I realized half way through that I had been using the wrong name. And there were a few times I changed names on purpose either because I had already used them or they just didn't seem to fit anymore.

15. Do you let anyone read your book while you’re working on it, or do you wait until you’ve completed a draft before letting someone else see it?

Jenni: Even when I get stuff done, I don't normally show it to anyone unless I'm trying to get it published. We tried to do a focus group on BTN and it was a huge flop. However, Jacqueline Woodson mentioned at Bright Ideas that it was never a "bright idea" to show someone your work while you were still working on it because if they criticize it you might feel too vulnerable or influenced to finish it. Other than putting myself out on the line for someone to critique it, I find it annoying when people are all "ooh ooh, here's how you should end it" and their ending is LAME!

Ash: I usually wait until it's finished but there was one exception. It didn't really go like I thought it would so I doubt I'd do it again.

16. What do you do to celebrate when you finish a draft?

Jenni: Send it to Ashley since it's usually my way-late part for BTN?

Ash: Announce it on my blog!

17. One project at a time, or multiple projects at once?

Jenni: Multiple, for sure.

Ash: I try to focus on one project at a time but occasionally, when I'm having writer's block or procrastinating, I'll work on something else for bit. Usually just editing.

18. Do your books grow or shrink in revision?

Jenni: Unfortunately, grow. It's like a one step forward two steps back thing. If I shrink it at all, that's usually overshadowed by the dramatic growth that I put someplace else in the draft.

Ash: I have yet to fully revise a book so it's hard to say.

19. Do you have any writing or critique partners?

Jenni: Ashley is my writing partner! If I actually wrote some more junk, she would be called upon to critique it. (Just wait until summer!)

Ash: Jenni is my writing partner and has often critiqued my work as well.

20. Do you prefer drafting or revising?

Jenni: Drafting. I'm kind of a revision-hater, even though I know it's totally necessary and can sometimes (especially with Ashley) be a ton of fun!

Ash: I've always done revisions.

**These answers were reposted without the consent of Jenni. She's probably going to sue me now. Oh well, it was worth it.**


jenni said...

It's a wonder we get anything done! LOL ;)

I figure it's fair since I never asked if I could post your answers to my blog. It is just too funny to see the responses together - I don't think it'd hold up in a court of law as plagiarism ;)

Ashley said...

So now it is reposted with your consent.
There's one less lawsuit to worry about.