Keyboard or [insert various local names for pen-type implements]
Keyboard, mostly. Lately I’ve taken to scrawling on the bus with my pen and paper, but I much prefer keyboard. My fingers are quicker typing than they are writing. I can actually read my typed writing.
Beta or no beta?
I’d love to have a steady beta who’d be willing to beta everything I do at incredibly short notice. Unfortunately no such person exists. I usually operate without a beta, which is terrible.
Yay plot! I’m starting to get a handle on plot, which is good. I’m practicing at it, at any rate.
I love titles. Usually I steal other people’s words (songs, poems), but I generally find that the titles I choose are exactly what I want for my stories. Most of the time, the title comes to me just before I finish.
Smushy or smutty?
Smushy. I’m a smushy type of person. Smut still scares me, although I’m improving in that regard.
I’m starting to add summaries to stories. I come from forum posting, where there are no summaries – just good titles and first chapter hooks. I’ve come to realise that LJ is different. Usually a representative quote from the story is what I use as a summary.
Er. Hmm. I don’t really write funny things. I write mildly amusing things. Yes, a lot of what I write is intended to be humorous, but I'm not really a laughter inducing writer. A lot of my personal humour is reactionary - responding to set situations. It doesn't always translate to laugh-out-loud moments when written down.
Most popular fic?
Sadly, that would be the Harry Potter story Swapping with Snape. My most popular due South fic would probably be Bite the Bullet. Most recently; Life on Mars’ Give and Take or No Burden is He to Bear both seemed to strike a chord with readers.
Most fun to write?
They’re all fun to write. That’s why I do it. If it weren’t fun, I’d give up.
Best and worst?
Oh there have been so many failures. So many. Too many to count. I guess the one which I’m most upset about as a failure is Like a Good Time That’s Never Been Had, because I spent a long time trying to get it right, although it isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever written. It was good in my head. I’d have to say the worst thing I have ever written which has seen the light of day was probably Green Eyed Flame, in terms of the use of language, plot and broad characterisation. It was my first story fic, a Mary Sue, and really just horrendously bad on multiple levels. But, on the upside, it was good practice.
Er. Best. Hmm. Thanks, That Was Fun did pretty much everything I wanted it to do. I think the best in terms of how pleased I am with the final product is actually the Slings and Arrows/Wilby Wonderful crossover Here is a Wonder, if You Talk of a Wonder. So, naturally, the one which exactly 25 people in the world actually have some canonical basis or interest in.
Coulda been contenders?
An original piece - The Bar Situation is bordering on one of the best things. There are hundreds of contenders for worst.
Dialogue, character interactions, small details and elements which get called back. Character voice often gets commented on as being a strength in stories I've written.
Description surrounding dialogue. Linking scenes to make sequences. World building. Maturity. Depth. I always think there’s something incredibly immature about most of my writing. I think that’s something which will evolve in time.
Dirty little secrets?
I don't really have any, but;
I block out all of my dialogue before adding in any ‘he said’/’she said’ or actions.
Characters don’t ‘speak’ to me. I’ll get a line of dialogue or exposition, but I don’t have running commentaries in my head like you’ll hear other writers say they do.
I prefer writing characters with markedly different speech patterns than my own.
I sometimes think I'm too critical. That if I just let myself go, had loads more fun with it, like I used to, I'd reclaim some of that spark back which made the crazy people respond so favourably to my earlier, crappier work. I'm too worried about what other people think sometimes - I'm clearly worrying about it in the above statement. The reason Here is a Wonder, if You Talk of a Wonder worked so well for me was because I already knew I effectively had no audience. Of course, my ego dictates that I want an audience. A really big one! With streamers! And chocolate cake! When I'm writing just for myself, well, I don't always write great works, but I do enjoy it. I have to find the balance between writing because I enjoy it, writing for an audience, and writing something good. I think about writing too much.
In other news, with thanks to nerdork, I've been watching Strangers with Candy. It's like crack but without the side effects. I imagine a lot of crack was involved in the making of the show. Amy Sedaris scares the hell out of me. In the good way.
And in other, other news - my PE lesson wasn't a complete success, but it wasn't a complete failure either. At least now it's done.