1. How often do you write and how do you feel about your output?
My goal is to write at least a little every day. In reality, there are days I go without writing and days I spend way too much time writing, to the exclusion of everything else. Then of course I've had long periods where I don't write at all, but that's just sad and upsetting.
2. Where does your inspiration come from? Where do you get your ideas?
I think the thing I dip into most for inspiration is my own life. I almost always am writing my own emotions, my own thoughts, my own experiences, just tweaked to fit the character or the situation. They say all fiction is autobiography - in my case, it's true. Other than that, I get inspiration from everything around me, and usually I'm not consciously looking for inspiration. I'll just start writing something and realize "OMG that's totally based on a conversation I had with rivers_bend and ennui_blue_lite the other day!". Sometimes it is intentional - if there's an image or a plot that fascinates me that I want to work into a fic, I do it. Books, movies, tv shows, I'll steal anything.
3. What are the first things you write? Dialogue? Sex? Something else?
Well, in a typical fic, I just start at the beginning, whether that's dialog, action, or something else. But I love writing smut and find it really easy (this seems to be unusual among other writers I've talked to) so if I'm stuck or bored with a fic, I'll skip ahead and write some pr0n.
4. How have you improved this past six months/year?
Six months and a year ago I wasn't writing at all, so just the fact that I'm writing again is a huge improvement! My big quest in terms of improving my writing is finding and improving my voice. I started out writing pastiche only (Jeeves & Wooster, written in the style of P.G. Wodehouse) so for a long time I had no idea if I had my own voice, or what it sounded like. Writing something that wasn't imitative was a huge challenge, and really scary for me. Now I feel more confident that I have a voice or a style of my own, and I know what it sounds like, and my big challenge now is to improve it. Primarily, I'd like to make it more lyrical. I have a fairly straightforward narrative style, and I'm okay with that, but I'd like to be a little more poetic without going overboard into purple prose.
5. Why do you write?
Well, NGL, the positive strokes I get from other people are a big reason, but I think mostly, it's to exorcise my own demons. Writing out the emotions and experiences I'm going through helps me to deal with them, somehow. Maybe just purging them helps, maybe writing it as if it's happening to someone else gives me some kind of perspective... IDK. But it does help.
6. Do you go through highs and lows? What are the triggers?
Not sure if this means highs and lows in writing, or highs and lows in life. The answer to both is YES, but they're often inversely proportional. The better I'm doing IRL, the less I'm writing. And the worse I'm feeling IRL, the more I'm writing. I really, really hope I can get to a point where I can be happy and still be a productive writer.
7. Do people in RL know you write slash?
Some do and some don't. The people I'm closest to, in general, do. My husband, my parents, my good friends all know. It's definitely not something I chat about at cocktail parties or in a professional setting though!
8. Where do you write?
On my laptop computer, almost always, wherever that happens to be. Most often, sitting on my comfy couch in the living room. Sometimes, at my desk in my office, or in a cafe. Sometimes I write longhand in the notebook I carry around in my purse, if I have some free time during the day and no access to my computer.
9. Does music help or hinder?
I rarely write with music on. Occasionally, it helps me to set a mood, or access some emotion that I'm trying to express. But usually, it distracts me, and... IDK, music to me is sort of another way of dealing with emotions, in addition to writing, but the two aren't really compatible. In other words, music helps me deal with emotions, writing helps me deal with emotions, but I can't do both at the same time. If that makes sense.
10. What are your props?
Nothing is required but my laptop, but most often I can be found writing with a cup of tea or some other caffeinated beverage. If I'm writing longhand, then I like to use a pretty notebook and a nice pen. Varsity disposable fountain pens are my favorite.
11. How seriously do you take your writing/ the writing process?
Pretty damn seriously. Possibly more seriously than I should. But it feels like such an important part of me, that to treat it like a joke or something that doesn't matter... it just doesn't sit right with me. I love getting all navel-gazey about the writing process, I love hearing about other people's process, and even if I'm just writing crack or comment fic, I try to make it the best crack or comment fic I can.
12. What are your strengths?
I think (I hope) characterization. I try to really get at what the fundamental things are about the characters I'm writing, what's going on in their heads, and why they act the way they do, even if they don't quite realize it themselves. I think I tend to be pretty insightful about people in general, and it's fun to use that on fictional characters and see what makes them tick. Also, spelling and grammar just come easily to me, if that counts as a strength.
13. What are your weaknesses?
As I said above, voice or style. Not that I think mine sucks, but I think there's room for improvement, and as I said, I'd really like to get a bit more lyrical in my writing. ALSO - I really want to write original fic, and coming up with my own characters is seriously daunting! So I'd say that's something I also want/need to work on.
14. If you beta, what do you get out of it?
I do beta, and I really enjoy it, but I tend to only beta a very limited amount. The way I beta is sort of exhausting, as anyone who's been beta'd by me can attest to. I comment on nearly everything (often just about every sentence, and at least every paragraph), I make a whole bunch of positive comments on stuff I like, and I am nitpicky LIEKWOAH. I will call you out on spelling, punctuation, grammar, character voice, flow, plot holes, cliches, anything else I see that could use improvement. But I try to always do it with gentleness and love, because I know how fragile my own writerly ego is. What do I get out of it? I guess, knowing that I'm helping someone else, and knowing that I'm doing it in a way that they will enjoy the process or at least not hate it too much. And plus, I get sneak peeks of some great stories! :)
15. What do you write? Aus, crack, PWP, threesomes, crossovers etc
I seem to swing back and forth between crack and serious stories. I have written PWP, but to me exploring the characters is the most important thing in fic, so even if it's just a sex scene, I want it to say something true and insightful about the characters. I tend to write lots of angst that has happy endings, lots of hurt/comfort. I pretty much just write my OTP pairing, because I'm a total OTP girl. I can't handle non-monogamy, whether it's consensual or not. I haven't written AUs or crossovers, but nu!Trek fandom has some great ones, and it's inspiring me to consider it. Most of my stories are long, and nearly all of them are porny.
16. Which fic have you written that felt like bungee-jumping – you really had to feel the fear and jump?
To some extent every fic is like that, and definitely the first fic in any given fandom is like that. I think maybe the scariest thing that comes to mind, though, is when I posted Home, a Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie RPS fic. Not because it was RPS (I'd written that before) but because it was my first non-pastiche fic. My first fic in my own voice. Man, was that scary and intimidating.
17. How do you feel about comments?
I adore comments to a probably unhealthy degree. I have gotten a bit better about not being too obsessed with them. Though that basically just means that instead of being OMGPSYCHOTIC TO THE BILLIONTH DEGREE about comments, I am now only OMGPSYCHOTIC TO THE MILLIONTH DEGREE. :p I love getting not just lots of comments, but I also really really like getting in-depth comments; comments that show that I've connected with a reader, and that they got something out of my story.
18. Do you give other writers feed-back? Why/why not?
I really, really try to. Pretty much, when I first enter a fandom, I lurk. I read voraciously and don't comment at all. I'm just too shy. But the more I hang around a fandom, the more comfortable I get, and eventually I start posting my own fics and commenting on others' fics. Once I'm out of my lurkerdom, I try to comment on as many things as I can. It's not always possible - life gets in the way sometimes - but I know how much I appreciate comments and so I try to give that feeling to other writers.
19. What is the indicator for you that your fic was a success/worked?
It used to be solely based on how many comments something got. If it got a ton of comments, I figured it was good. If it didn't, I figured it sucked. I'm now finally starting to get to a point with my writing where I feel like I can have an opinion about my stories that's not based on what other people thought, or how many people commented. It's kind of a nice feeling. It does lead to some amount of "hey, I thought this one was really good, how come it got ignored?" and "man, that one wasn't that great, so why did everyone comment on that one?". But overall, I'm glad I'm developing more of an independent opinion about my own fics. Oh, also, what my closest writing buddies and beta(s) think is a huge indicator for me. They're generally pretty honest about what works and what doesn't. At least, I hope they are!
20. Do you write in the genre you like reading the most, ie crack, AU, angst etc?
Well, I like reading most genres, and I don't write every genre, but in general, yes. I pretty much write for my own buttons and kinks - I mean, doesn't everyone? I love hurt/comfort, so I write hurt/comfort, because it's satisfying to me. I hate genderswap, so I'm never going to write it. Stuff like that. Sometimes I enjoy a challenge to write outside of my comfort zone, but I'm not going to write something that I actively dislike. Fanfic writing is supposed to be fun, and if it's not fun anymore, what's the point?
21. Do you write a straight through draft or is your first attempt bits and pieces?
I used to jump around a lot, do bits and pieces, write a scene here and a scene there. But the more I write, the more I find I write straight through from start to finish. I'm not sure why that's happened, but I definitely find it more difficult and more... I don't know... distracting? difficult? to jump around. Not to say I wouldn't ever do it that way (as I said, I sometimes jump to a smut scene if I'm feeling stuck) but most often I write straight through.
22. What is it about this fandom that is eating your brain?
I think what eats my brain about any fandom I'm in is the EPIC LOVE of the pairing. I tend to like BFF slash, and I always prefer slash where the two characters are totally MFEO and in epic, world-ending love, and rely on each other to a truly codependent degree. These two (meaning Kirk and McCoy, my current OTP) have that in spades, and I love it.
23. Is this your first time, or are you a serial monogomar with fandoms?
Definitely I'm a serial monogamer (umm, I don't think that's a word, but whatevs). I can't really focus on more than one fandom at a time - I just don't have energy. I have to be epically in love with the epic pairing that I love, and there's no room for more than one fandom! The only exception is that I tend to be into a fictional fandom (in this case Trek, Kirk/McCoy) AND the corresponding RPS pairing (Chris Pine/Karl Urban). I'm not sure why - maybe because if the onscreen chemistry is so gripping, I feel like there must be offscreen chemistry to match. I'm sure that's not always true, but it's a nice thought, so hey. I'll go with it.
24. Do you do drabbles, comment fic, challenges with deadlines – and how do you get on with these?
Challenges, yes, I generally love doing those (as long as I've got plenty of time until the deadline). Comment fic, yeah, I enjoy as well if I'm feeling creative or inspired at the time. Drabbles I don't really enjoy, reading or writing. Maybe I'll get into it someday, but right now, it feels too limited and limiting. When I read, I want to be able to submerge myself in a story, not just get a quick snapshot. And writing drabbles... eh, I like more room to explore.
25. Anything else?
Not that I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure I'll be back to blather some more. :p