in case you didn’t know it, i like taking surveys, and so when i came across this one on the NaNo boards, i thought, AWESOME, and took it. What age range are you? 30s If 1 is 100% Masculine and 10 is 100% Feminine, what number would you rate yourself for your country/background? maybe a 6? i love my vagina, but i hate dresses. (maybe a little too frank?) Country and/or Ethnicity? USA, supa white. (anglo-saxon and scandinavian heritage, you can’t get much whiter than me w/out actually being from the Caucasus. (^_^) ) Myers Briggs Typology? (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp) INTJ, as usual. #theConsistentType Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? (http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm no. no surprise there. my co-workers were recently surprised when i confessed to an intense dislike of bugs. “So there IS something that bothers her!” one of them exclaimed triumphantly… (-_-) What number of years have you participated in Nanowrimo? this will be year number nine! Do you write books outside of Nanowrimo? short stories, yes. novels, no. Did you write before you participated in your first Nanowrimo? yes. How long have you been writing fiction? the earliest piece of fiction my mother has kept was from fourth grade. it was a fictionalized account of one of my ancestors’ sons drowning. (oh yeah, uplifting stuff right from the beginning!) Are you published officially? there were a few online e-zines that have since gone under, but nothing professional or paid. (T_T) What genre(s) do you usually write? speculative, sci-fi and historical fantasy. What genre do you write for Nanowrimo? usually sci-fi. Do you treat your characters as real/do they talk to you? oh yes. Are you an Improviser/Discovery Writer, a Milestone writer (set out certain important events to hit without the detail), an Outliner, or mixed (if so, how?)? i call it Short-Term Outlining. i have a general story arc in mind, and i create fairly specific outlines for the next three or four scenes. when i finish one day’s writing, i make the outline for the next scene(s). that way, i always (usually) know where i’m going the next day, but i don’t have myself planned out so much that i get bored. Do you believe in event-driven, character-driven or story-driven? i believe that character IS story. your “plot” or “story” is what happens to your character, so your character’s personality (or characters’ personalities) are (should be) the determining factor in what happens during your story. in other words, your character determines your story, therefore character = story. In what order do you write? usually forwards. i like stories that intertwine the past and the present, so it’s rarely chronological, but i generally write first drafts in the order i expect them to be read. Do you determine the ending first, later, or when you get there? i usually have an ending in mind, but it’s not always what i finish with. What do you feel is your weakest and strongest points in writing? finding appropriate details is a difficult thing for me. also, (ironically, considering what i just wrote about character = story) i think i have a problem fleshing out characters. i know what they are in my head, but it seems that those ideas don’t make it to the page… (T_T) on the other hand, i’m good at being clever. #notNecessarilyADesiredTrait What are you best and weakest at: beginnings, middles, endings? weak at middles, strong at … yeah, probably “strong” is too strong a word for my talents in other areas… What materials/programs do you like to use when writing? my 1984 Brother EP-43 electronic thermal typewriter. i can’t buy cartridges/ribbons for it any more, so i type on 96 foot thermal fax paper rolls. (^_^) How many writing project do you have at one time? i try to stick to one active project at a time. i often have one i’m working on and another in the drawer collecting dust until Editing Times. Where do you get your ideas? every idea comes from somewhere different. i don’t have one consistent source of ideas. i will say, i’m often inspired about setting while watching documentaries, and i suppose music is a frequent source of Ideas as well… Why do you write? because i feel better when i do. i’ll often unwittingly go weeks or months w/out producing any original fiction, and then when i sit down to do it again, i’m like, “oh yeah, this does feel pretty good.” why i always forget, i could not tell you… Do you research? If so when, and how much time will you spend on it? i easily and often get lost in research. i do it constantly, and spend far too much time on it. Do you use primary, secondary, or tertiary sources? since my settings/ideas are speculative and historical, primary research is difficult, but i try to find analogues whenever possible. i generally go for a mix. primary sources are hard for me on an emotional level, as i find myself getting too close to the situation to write about it, so i tend to do those first, and then give myself some time to back off while i do second- and third-hand sources. For the Speculative Fiction/Historical Crowd: If you world build, how much, when and how? during first drafts, i generally world-build on the fly, as it were, but before my first round of revisions, i build heavily and often. Are you a hobbyist, or doing this for publication? i would like to be published, but i think it unlikely in the near-term. it’s more of a mid- to long-term goal. i’ve got a few too many other things on my plate and am unable to invest in my writing to the degree required to publish. Would you publish your Nanowrimo for this year if you got it cleaned up? yes. hopefully. it’s not written yet, of course. last year’s, heck yes. year before that, definitely yes, it’s with beta readers right now. What books do you read inside of your genre? Terry Pratchett, Terry Brooks, Steven Brust, lots of japanese authors. b. Roughly how many do you own/read in your genre in a year? uh, a lot? i don’t really keep track, but i have 6 bookcases more or less full… c. What is the oldest book (as in publication date) you’ve read in your genre? hm. if myths and legends count as speculative, than i’d have to answer “pre-history.” in the modern era, probably some gothic horror short from the mid 1800s…? d. What is the one book/author you would recommend to a newbie reading your genre? only one? lord… maybe I, Robot? or The Giver by Lois Lowry… mm… if you want weird, George Saunders is the best… What Classics have you read and enjoyed and disliked (inside and outside of classes)? um… i will say i didn’t like Portrait of Dorian Grey. that book had horrible pacing and was badly in need of a decisive editor. What books do you read outside of your genre? i really like Agatha Christie’s short stories, and Steven King’s shorts, too. i’ll pretty much read anything in any genre, but it needs to have at least some speculative elements and strong characters. Would you have written this novel without Nanowrimo? “this?” Try “any.” and the answer is definitely no. And what does Nanowrimo mean to you? at this point, it’s more of a habit than a challenge, but it’s really the only time of year i write anything this long, so it’s a way to flex muscles i don’t usually use. on a more personal note, it’s a way to force myself to remember how much i like writing every year. What have you learned from Nanowrimo (so Far)? my writing doesn’t suck as much as i thought it did. that doesn’t mean it’s good, don’t get me wrong, but after my first NaNo, i thought, jeez this is really terrible. but after i went back and read it a couple months later, i thought, hey, this isn’t actually drivel. (^_^) Has writing a novel changed how you view authors and read novels? it’s made me appreciate the final product more, because i’ve become intimately acquainted with precisely how much work revision is… (T_T) If you were at a book signing and a person said to you, “Hey! I have a great idea for a book–you write it, edit it and all of that and then we go 50/50 on the profits. So what do you think?” What would you say to that person? Why don’t you take that pen and that pad of paper and write it yourself. (in my Nenene Sumiregawa voice, no doubt.) What’s more offensive to you: prejudiced slurs or the 4-letter and one three-letter swear words? slurs.