Meme: Get to know your author

Snagged from zmediaoutlet/deadlybride:

1) is there a story you’re holding off on writing for some reason?

2) what work of yours, if any, are you the most embarrassed about existing?

3) what order do you write in? front of book to back? chronological? favorite scenes first? something else?

4) favorite character you’ve written

5) character you were most surprised to end up writing

6) something you would go back and change in your writing that it’s too late/complicated to change now

7) when asked, are you embarrassed or enthusiastic to tell people that you write?

8) favorite genre to write

9) what, if anything, do you do for inspiration?

10) write in silence or with background noise? with people or alone?

11) what aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing?

12) your weaknesses as an author

13) your strengths as an author

14) do you make playlists for your current wips?

15) why did you start writing?

16) are there any characters who haunt you?

17) if you could give your fledgling author self any advice, what would it be?

18) were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? what were they?

19) when it comes to more complicated narratives, how do you keep track of outlines, characters, development, timeline, ect.?

20) do you write in long sit-down sessions or in little spurts?

21) what do you think when you read over your older work?

22) are there any subjects that make you uncomfortable to write?

23) any obscure life experiences that you feel have helped your writing?

24) have you ever become an expert on something you previously knew nothing about, in order to better a scene or a story?

25) copy/paste a few sentences or a short paragraph that you’re particularly proud of

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Numbers out the hat time :D I'd like #'s 8, 16 and 20 please dearest :D
8) favorite genre to write - Going by the current run of things, interstitial fluff. If that's not an acknowledged genre, by gum I'm making it one. That and "speculative fiction"--like, what would it be like to be an actual seer? Or to be able to move around in the space between moments?

16) are there any characters who haunt you? - John Sheppard from SGA used to; now it's mostly Sam and Dean. And by "haunt" here I mean "oh hey, I bet Dean would like deep-fried macaroni bites" and "I bet they'd both like Steeleye Span, but for different reasons" and accidentally writing the aforementioned interstitial fluff because no one else is. (And occasional interstitial AU fluff, like yesterday's fic.)

20) do you write in long sit-down sessions or in little spurts? - Both, but usually spurts. Recently, it's mostly while lounging underneath the pear trees at work during my lunch break. But occasionally something will jump into my head and demand to be written down in a sizable lump. That's always fun.
I write in spurts, which is why my stories are quite short usually, I can't seem to maintain a longer period of writing.

Fabulous answers. I'm such a nosey bitch I love the inside of my author friend's heads :D
11, 18, and 25, pretty please!
11) what aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing? - Oh gosh, I don't know. Characterization, maybe? Honestly, I suspect my readers could give a better answer.

...No, you know what: I will say characterization--at least in regards to fanfiction. When I first started, waaaaaay back when, it was all about the accidental Mary Sues. Looking at them in retrospect, I actually didn't really care about the canonical characters that much--they were mostly just there to be impressed by my awesome OC. Definitely not the case anymore, thank goodness. :D

18) were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? what were they? - You know, I don't think there have been. At least none that I'm aware of. The authors I love best tend to have fairly individual writing voices; if anything, they've made me want to develop my own, rather than imitate (Pratchett, Sayers, Tolkien, to name a few).

25) copy/paste a few sentences or a short paragraph that you’re particularly proud of - from Falls the Night:
There is (was, will be) a boy running through the grass. Blue sky overhead, green grass underfoot; the boy runs. A rabbit runs also, aware of nothing but the open space before and the boy behind. A dog barks from inside the forest that stretches out along the green grass; barks twice, and bursts out of the underbrush, a brown and white arrow aimed at the rabbit.

And (the boy runs; the boy stumbles; the boy falls; the boy drops to his knees and clutches at his eyes; the boy sees blood; the boy sees an empty field and a panting dog) the boy stops, watches dog and rabbit disappear back into the forest, wonders what just (didn’t happen) happened.
Ooh! I didn't see that you'd done this. Let's see... would you do 4, 12, & 13 for me?

4) favorite character you’ve written - Is this a trick question? I feel like it's a trick question. Because the answer's pretty nearly all of them. Or my recurring POV's, at any rate. Ronon, the alien from SGA who (my brain decided) makes balloon animals in his spare time and would've become a tax accountant had circumstances allowed. John Sheppard, who just wants to fly, but has too much loyalty (and the weight of his mother's refused destiny) holding him down. Ana Anantha Sheppard, who is merely an implied space in canon, but who made herself mortal for the sake of love and gave her son an alien city as his inheritance. Sam-and-Dean, because they're a unit in my head--because it lets my pour my love for my sister into fiction--because I love my country and they let me explore some of its small alcoves.

12) your weaknesses as an author - Haha--my tendency to turn everything into a run-on sentence? Seriously, looking at my 20 most recent first lines, most of 'em are a full paragraph. And also I default to narrative summary, even when that's not really the best option. Could add more sensory details, to--I have to fight to keep from getting stuck entirely inside the POV's thought-process.

13) your strengths as an author - On the other hand--when I give myself the chance to really thoroughly revise something (which is mostly never, because my instinctive reaction is always, "completed fic! must post before it disappears!!!") I do have a pretty decent ear for cadence. Words matter to me, and the nuance of sentence-structure. (Actually--here's another weakness for you: story structure, because I so rarely manage to write something long enough for it to matter.)

But here's the real strength, I think: not quitting. Once I get enough written for a story to have an actual shape, I refuse to give up on it. Might take more years, but someday I will finish that SGA time-travel AU. And that fic where John meets a dragon. (Unless I die first, but that's what it would take. Death. For realsies.)
Okay, well--first, I have to give you serious accolades on the "not quitting." That's a real skill, and not one that I think I have. Seriously admirable.

The narrative summary/thought process thing is also really interesting to me. I didn't learn that much in my creative writing classes (other than how to be extremely diplomatic), but that was one thing that really stuck with me--a visiting writer talked about how writing is a constant battle against letting the character sit in a chair and navel-gaze. We also talked a lot about scene vs summary, with the group discussions almost always landing on "scene is better". As a result, I feel like I don't use summary enough, and like I'm always shying away from actually depicting thought process because I don't want to get "stuck." Maybe we should trade. :)