Hello there! I hope you are all well! Today I’ll be participating in the “Never Have I Ever” Writer tag (hence the title). Because it looks like fun, or because I have no original ideas for a blog post today? Yes.
I saw this tag a while back on C.G. Drews blog Paperfury and couldn’t resist stealing it. An excuse to talk about random writer habits? Yes, please.
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Never Have I Ever…
Started a novel that I didn’t finish
HAHAHA, yes. I have quite a few 5-10 page starts of “novels” from when I was thirteen or so.
Let’s not count the more recent ones, because I just haven’t finished them yet. Let me be optimistic here.
Written a story completely by hand
Yes, indeed. I have written two first drafts by hand. The longest was 260 handwritten pages. It’s a weirdly cool feeling to be able to flip through a giant stack of pages covered in your own handwriting.
Changed tenses midway through a story
Yes, but only once. I was writing a story in past tense, then I started reading I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (which is written in present tense). I kept accidentally slipping into present tense in my writing and then fixing it, until it got to a point where I just said, “Ok, fine! It’s in present tense now” and went with it.
Not researched anything before starting a story
Yes. 99% of the time, this is the case (the remaining 1% being a school assignment where we were supposed to do a bunch of research before starting our story).
Although, I have recently discovered that I sometimes enjoy research. For the last story I wrote I read a National Geographic article on the history of Santa Claus (which wasn’t actually super helpful for my story, but a lot of the information was good to know), and I recently did a fair bit of reading about PTSD for a different story.
Changed my protagonist’s names halfway through a draft
No, not that I can think of. This is probably partly due to the fact that half my protagonists are running around completely nameless, so there’s no name to change.
Written a story in a month or less
Yes! I did Camp Nanowrimo twice (although the second time I started halfway through the month and made my wordcount goal 25,000 instead of 50,000). I can’t write at that rate all the time (I get BURNT OUT), but once a year it’s fun to
torture myself push myself.
Fallen asleep while writing
No, I don’t think so… I think I usually stop when I get that sleepy, because I don’t want to end up stabbing myself in the eye with my pen.
Corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online
Yes, because people ask me to proofread things for them. I’ve done quite a bit of marking up drafts for my siblings and friends.
Sometimes I get a little bit nerdy about it. My little sister is never going to let me forget the time I stopped in the middle of a conversation to lean over her shoulder as she was typing and ask, “Do you indent?”
Yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel
What? Yell at myself while writing? Of course not!
….Ok, yes. Yes, I do.
Used “I’m writing” as an excuse
Yes, and I will never stop. Excuse to not go to social event? Check. Excuse to escape social event if I’m there and I want to leave? Check.
“Yeah, I wish I could stay, but I’ve gotta go…write stuff.”
Killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life
No. Because I don’t think I’ve ever based a character on someone I know in real life? I’ll take a quote or two, a hair description, maybe a hobby, but I’ve never actually based an entire character on a real person.
Used pop culture references in a story
Yes. Mostly music, come to think of it. The Beach Boys are mentioned in two different stories. There’s one story where the characters sing Bastille songs.
Written between the hours of 1AM and 6AM
Yes, but not often. I consider myself more of a night person (I regularly stay up until eleven or midnight), but I don’t actually like staying up much past 1AM. If I’m really on a roll, I might stay up past 2?? Maybe? But 6?? That just sounds miserable.
Drank an entire pot of coffee while writing
Nope. I don’t drink coffee. At all.
Written down dreams to use in potential novels
Yes! One of my favorite novels that I’ve written originally started out as a dream that I wrote down. Obviously it changed a lot (I’m pretty sure Wolverine made an appearance in the dream, and there was something that had to do with Baby Driver), but the first incarnation of the book’s antagonist came from that dream.
Forgotten to save my work/draft
No. At least, not since I was very wee. RIP self-illustrated story from my youth about fairies. Lost forever.
Typed so long that my wrists hurt
Yes, and that’s usually when I start groaning and melting into the couch.
Spilled a drink on my laptop while writing
NO, NO, NO. WE MUSN’T BRING ANY KIND OF DRINK ANYWHERE NEAR THE LAPTOP.
Finished a novel
Yes! I finished my first novel in 2017. My current count is six–though technically three of them are super short. They’re not novels by the 50,000 word definition, but I’m a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo, and The Tiger Rising is a novel even though it’s like 20,000 words?? I stand by Kate DiCamillo.
Laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene
No, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud while writing. I have grinned somewhat villainous while writing–but never while doing something really serious like killing somebody. I just frustrate my characters and make them bicker with each other while I grin about it.
Cried while writing a scene
…Yes? Sort of? Sometimes I do this thing where I make the face expressions of my characters and get super empathetic in an effort to figure out what they’re going to say next, how they’re reacting, how to describe it, etc. There’s a climatic scene in one story where the main character realizes he’s actually been hurting someone he really cares about and…it sort of breaks him. I didn’t actually cry cry, but I had tears in my eyes.
Created maps of my fictional worlds
No. Maps scare me. Also I don’t know what people’s houses look like half the time, let alone the world.
Researched something shady for a novel
Yes. Sometimes you just need to know a list of spontaneous causes of death. For writing. Not because I’m trying to cover up a murder…
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There you have it! I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to join! I would love to hear your answers to these questions, so let me know if you write your own post 🙂
Do you prefer typing or writing by hand? Do you enjoy doing research? Have you ever based a character in a story on someone in real life? What shady things have you researched while writing? Do tell!
4 responses to ““Never Have I Ever” Writer tag–feat. research, yelling, and lost fairies”
I like this tag a lot. People have such interesting answers.
I don’t ever talk to myself in my documents (except I think once I left a comment that just said ‘Seriously?’ because I’d named the lake that I didn’t have a name for ‘Blue Lake’ [on account of how it was blue] and couldn’t let that pass), but I wish I did because those snippets (‘USELESS EMPTY BRAIN’) are very funny. And an accurate representation of one’s feelings while drafting, often and often.
“Sometimes I do this thing where I make the face expressions of my characters and get super empathetic in an effort to figure out what they’re going to say next, how they’re reacting, how to describe it, etc.” <<You do this too???? If I get lost enough in a scene I do it without thinking and it's VERY AWKWARD if your mom walks in just then.
People's houses are very confusing. I always get lost in them, even with directions. And I get lost driving around the tiny town I live in. If it were up to me to get the Ring to Mordor, Middle-earth would be doomed because I'd just stumble around until I ended up at the Grey Haves or something. I seem to have no sense of direction. That said, maps are very pretty, but actually trying to read them terrifies me.
Six novels, NICE. Honestly, I think the arbitrary 50k words definition is silly. At some point, of course, you have to make the distinction between really long short stories and really short novels, but…stories should just be as long as they are meant to be? Some really short novels are incredible and shouldn't be any longer and do in 20k words what other stories fail to do in 100k. And some stories shouldn't be told with any less than a thousand pages. (Not to mention LotR again, but…LotR. I have been rereading, okay? It is on the brain.)
Also, flipping through handwritten pages of your story!! I love doing that. I write nearly all my first drafts by hand, and it's very satisfying.
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It’s a pretty fun tag 🙂 Haha, ‘Blue Lake’ is a paragon of creative naming. I have a lot of ‘blanks’ in my writing–by which I mean I actually write the word ‘blank’ because I haven’t come up with a name for a place or a person yet. It works great until I have to go back and actually put a name in…
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Those nameless protagonists though. Rude of them not to introduce themselves, right?? (Mine need to give an introduction complete with age and hair colour…)
And shady research is one of the marks of being a writer! I went through a period where I read a lot about poisons, and last year I had trouble googling “how to kill someone silently (there can be a lot of blood though, that’s fine)”. My family certainly thought that was shady.
Especially during NaNo events, my writing does sometimes turn into “and now they did a thing! and it was a clever thing! I just can’t think of tHE THING, WHY, WHY DID I CHOOSE THIS ROUTE, I SHOULD HAVE GONE WITH THE ALPACAS INSTEAD BECAUSE NOW I NEED TO THINK OF A CLEVER THING, THANKS JEM”. Which makes for entertaining reading later… if not particularly helpful reading.
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Protagonists are so rude. Everyone needs to fill out a basic information form and attach a headshot, because the dear writers don’t know who they are or what they look like.
That is such a legendary shady writer search XD I hope you found some good results.
Making characters do clever things? Meaning I, the writer, have to COME UP WITH THE CLEVER THING?? Can’t they think up their own clever things??? JUST BRING IN THE ALPACAS.
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