In response to the prompt on Nate Philbrick's blog, I thought I'd give a list of a few of my writerly habits along with an update on Mark My Soul!
1. I need music, whether to drown out background noise (there is always way too much background noise) or simply to get me in the mood, I almost always need music.
2. Unless I'm writing something short. Then I don't NEED music but I still prefer it.
3. I usually have tea to stimulate me; I love Chai, Rooibos, Jasmine, Cherry...just about any tea but mostly not very fruity flavored (and I'm not a big fan of Green tea).
4. I rarely drink coffee but I will sometimes with cocoa in it and lots of cream and sugar.
5. In winter I almost solely drink Egg Nog while writing
6. I also usually have sweets...bad for the teeth but brain stimulating when I get stuck!
7. When I'm facing real tough writers block (meaning I don't want to even THINK about that story I need to write on) I find it helps to pull my hair up...for no particular reason usually using decorative style hair sticks or pencils.
8. I write with my sister. I usually get a lot of questions about this one so I'll explain. It's like having a live-in writing buddy. We both come up with stories, ideas, characters and then we brainstorm together. Then I write down what we came up with and she edits and helps us both see where we need revisions and where we need to leave well enough alone. Even with a story of 'my own' she's still editing, helping me brainstorm and always there to let me talk and sort things out.
9. I like to write with siblings/sibling like relationships. Good ones. I don't see enough good sibling relationships in most of today's popular media (one of many reasons I read manga/watch anime because they usually have this feature). So my sister and I have taken it upon ourselves to overuse this wonderful trope!
10. I like to write children. While siblings can mean just about any age I usually like to have at least one small child (under the age of twelve) in a story. While this is not always a given, it's normal for us. I have a lot of younger siblings so I'm used to kids thought processes and mannerisms so I find it pretty easy to make up children for my stories!
11. While I have never sworn against cliches (that's impossible), I'm very proud to say I haven't yet used anything regarding a prophecy and don't plan on it!
12. Plot suffers in my hand...and so do characters but in a different way. When writing, mostly I want to write about, for, and to my characters...which means my plots have a tendency to be strung out at best. Personally, I like this type of story but I still firmly believe my books take it to a new level and need a bit of help in focusing...kinda like me.
13. I like to work on a lot at once. I'm constantly having new ideas and it's so hard to ignore them for a long period of time so I usually have to have several stories going to keep my interest and help me pause new opportunities.
14. I used to write all on paper and at the age of...12 maybe? I had completed three entire books I was very proud of.
15. Now I write almost entirely on my computer and get a lot more done in a lot less time.
16. I do keep a notebook full of random ideas, names, places, even family trees; along with notes on my computer, on word document, and on my phone...like I said, lots of ideas constantly.
17. I don't like romance. Okay, being a girl I appreciate pairings and a relationship that maybe even leads to hand holding (maybe) but for the most part I'd rather read about a dishonored knight raising a disowned six-year old princess in a swamp than about the same plot but an older love interest princess. Romance normally just rubs me the wrong way which means I don't write a lot of it...at all.
18. I pretty much only write fantasy.
19. I love coming up with the cultural aspects of my countries! From language to traditions to commerce; I always enjoy working this sort of stuff out even if it never really gets used.
20. I'm terrible at poetry but I like making up songs to be used in the story.
21. I don't like killing my characters. Don't get me wrong, if I find it necessary they are definitely going to die, but I get myself way too attached and it hurts me to kill them.
22. that being said I enjoy putting my characters through an awful lot of pain and tears before the end.
23. I cannot simply write a side character. Normally I'll know that person's name, family history, and have a spin of novella (if we're lucky) planned for them. I am the worst at writing quick characters! I feel like every person has a point and purpose of their own and, if I like them, I want to write more for them!
24. I cannot write anything short. Well, I can but it takes monumental effort for me to write anything beneath 20,000 words.
25. That being said I usually have a tough time getting started. When I first sit down to write in the morning I feel brain dead. but once I get going I hate stopping.
26. With a few rare exceptions, I hardly ever know exactly how my books are going to end before I'm at least halfway through the draft.
27. I hardly ever plan out a book. I usually have at least two characters planned, a few plot points and maybe a beginning and I just go from there.
28. I have to write. Despite having a hard time getting started, I can't go too long without writing, I just cant. I love what I do and do it a lot. I even write on my phone when I can't get to anything else (fun fact: I wrote an entire first draft of 100 Word pages on the notes in my phone)!
29. I don't describe my characters often. Usually I'll point out anything noteworthy or important about their appearance (and their eye color is bound to show up at some point) but otherwise I leave it to the imagination and maybe drop a bit about their looks through the way the rest of the cast sees them.
30. I hate writing one or two characters. I love writing big groups. It's easier for me to be able to hop from several different points of view and perspectives. It always makes dialogue scenes less repetitive.
I think that about sums it all up! Honestly I didn't think I'd make it to 30!
And as for Mark My Soul...I did not win the cover contest so I will be putting something together and then looking into easy ebook formatting while going through one last quick edit. I doubt this story will be out before February is out (sorry) but I can assure you I am actually working on it!