The Rising Author Tag

rising author blog header

I’m back this week with another tag *cue cheers and shrieks!*. Once again, I was nominated by the lovely Katie @ The Act Diary to do the Rising Author Tag. I love tags…and writing…and writing tags, so this looks like a lot of fun. Are you ready? Forward to Katie’s epic questions!!

1.          How many first drafts have you completed?

Hmmm….*counts on fingers and mumbles under breath* Otter Storm, Aimee, Hannah, The Blade of the Dragon, Shokan, Black and White, Kameradschaft, Rose Mask, The Stars Fill Infinity… Okay, five novels (over 50k words) and four novellas (under 50k). That’s my inventory of first drafts.

2.         If you could write ANY story and didn’t have to worry about it being mediocre or falling apart in the middle, etc, what would you write?

I don’t know! A book that’s been on my mind (and my heart) for a long time is a retelling of The Lord of the Rings, but set on the Western Front during WW1. The Lord of the Rings is one of my absolutely favourite stories, and ever since I read it I’ve been fascinated by the effect that Tolkien and Lewis’ war service had on their writing. I’ve even written an essay on the subject of whether or not Tolkien was inspired by any of his wartime years (he claimed he wasn’t, I feel differently, especially during the Passage of the Marshes, and the ending chapters). But The Lord of the Rings is so deep, so complex and generally amazing, that I don’t feel I could write such a retelling, but…hey, the question said ANY story.

 

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But seriously, compare this (I know this is from the movie and all that, but I couldn’t find any book illustrations or anything, and I feel that this is pretty accurate to the description in The Two Towers): (source)

 

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(source) With this. And if you’d lived through the above picture, how could it not make a massive impact on you?

3.         What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters?

Reuel, a minor character in Stars Fill Infinity, owns a cutlery manufacturing company. That has absolutely no bearing on the plot, but it’s canon, because it’s written down in the “Notes on Reuel”, section of my notebook.

4.        If you could have any author edit your writing, who would it be?

Tolkien…or Lewis. Or Dickens. Unfortunately, I have a problem with run-on, confusing sentences, and I don’t think that any of those three could help me. They might just make the problem a billion times worse.

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5.         What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?

Ha…ha…ha…the worst thing? Ever? Seriously? One of the stories that makes me cringe the most is “The Blue Moon Trilogy”, which is seriously a rip-off The Door Within Trilogy, and (since that book draws majorly from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) consequently a rip-off Tolkien’s books, though I’d only read The Hobbit at that stage.

Having said that, this is a pretty bad sentence too: “In front of him, Leonzio croaked like a toad so life like that Benito could not help but jump.  Both Carlotta and Leonzio laughed heartily at his uncomfortableness.”

6.         If your book was made into a movie, what would it be like?

It would be awesome, of course. It wouldn’t play with the themes or symbolism at all, it wouldn’t undermine anything, it would have a brilliant cast (handpicked by myself), a great score (which I would listen to during my writing sessions for the rest of my writing days), and hopefully it would be generally cool.

7.         Which one of your characters are you most similar to?

I don’t think I’ve ever written a major character which isn’t similar to me in some respects. Parts of my personality, my beliefs, experiences and passions are spread around my characters, so that they’re all similar to me, but none are identical. Felicita Cristiano from Rose Mask and Chessy from The Stars Fill Infinity are quite similar to me, probably out of all them, the most like me.

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8.         Do you let other people read your writing?

Yes. Strangely enough, it’s not really a thing I struggle with either. The affliction of revealing your story to the world seems to plague a lot of authors, but I actually enjoy showing people my work. My mum, my lovely alpha reader (and dear, dear friend) Sarah, and my friends on Kingdom Pen get to see it most often. I have though, consented to having a poem read out in front of my entire church, on one occasion, but that was slightly more confronting.

9.         Are there any objects/situations/etc that you’ve noticed tend to show up in a lot of your stories?

Yes, there’s a few. For one, my stories tend to end at daybreak, with the hope that comes at dawn. I can think of three stories (out of the nine mentioned earlier) that end with a sunrise. Another that seems to appear a bit is isolated characters (Violet, the otter main character of Otter Storm, my earliest novella, grows up inside a walled city; Felicita in Rose Mask, lives inside an enchanted castle; Chessy and Sapphire from The Stars Fill Infinity grow up inside an abandoned gated community and Justice, another character from the same novel, grows up isolated from the real world by his family’s wealth and privileged status.

When it comes to themes, my themes almost always include hope, whether that be the main theme, or a “subtheme” that appears in the writing. I’m a huge believer in the importance of hope, because without hope I see a lot of things as being, well, hopeless and useless, so that belief often echoes in my writing. Masks are another theme, whether that be a literal mask (like the one Felicita wears), or a figurative mask (like the ones Chessy and Sapphire wear).

10.     Can you do other things while writing? (eg. Eating, listening to music, etc)

I am a brilliant multi-tasker. I literally write while I’m doing everything, even watching movies.

My Questions…

1.          Are you a plotter or a pantser?

2.          Do you lean towards writing male or female characters?

3.          What themes/symbols/motifs tend to appear repeatedly in your writing?

4.         Music while writing: yes or no?

5.         Favourite character archetype (hero, mentor, love interest etc)?

6.         Out of all your characters, which do you relate to the most?

7.         What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters?

8.          What’s one genre you’d like to try (writing or reading), but haven’t yet?

9.         What’s the weirdest character you’ve written and why?

10.      If you could write ANY story and didn’t have to worry about it being mediocre or falling apart in the middle, etc, what would you write?

And I Tag…

Christine Eyre

My Musical and Writing Life

Tania @ Write Owl

D.G. Snapper

 

Even if you weren’t tagged, feel free to join in on the fun! Leave me a link in the comments too, so I can check it out 😊. So, what’s the worst thing you’ve written? What’s the oddest thing you know about one of your characters? Would you like your book made into a movie?

21 thoughts on “The Rising Author Tag

  1. I hope to write some novels after I graduate. I have some ideas already. One of the stories already has part of a draft coming up. Last semester in Voice and Diction, we had to tell a story and I decided to go ahead and start my Fairy Frogs series. They are Spring Green frogs with transparent wings with a gold trim. They are quite compassionate and are artists and live in an enchanted and magical place called the Cattail Forest.

    Then there are the quite rude and disrespectful toads and there is one rule that the frogs are not allowed to fly past where they live or even interact with them due to how mean they can be especially Sarge, the leader of the toads.

    Sparkle, the protagonist, is only 12 and is quite rebellious. She is a drawer frog who does break some rules at times. She is so invested in her craft that she doesn’t mind going anywhere to make a new drawing. She breaks that one rule of venturing past where the toads live and there she actually befriends Marge, one of the younger and nicer toads, and the two of them become friends. That is a basic gist of the series. My debate is a picture book or a chapter book, but it feels like a picture book but don’t know if people can tell its is a series if it is a picture book series.

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  2. *waves hand crazily* FRIENDS ON KINGDOM PEN!!!!

    *cough* There’s the proof that we’re all nuts on there. 😛

    Aaaanyway, thanks for tagging me! 😀 These are awesome questions. I relate to your answer to the one if you let other people read your work. I probably let people read my work too much. XD In fact, I even read it aloud to one of those alpha readers. 😛

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  3. Oh my goodness, you are a brave, brave person for reading a poem in front of your Church! It makes me scared just thinking about that. xD And yeesh, having Tolkien critique your novel? o.o That would be cool, and very intimidating. Yikes, hehe.

    katie grace
    a writer’s faith

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for tagging me! I just finished writing my post! 🙂
    I think that your idea of a LotR/WWI retelling is awesome. That would be so cool!
    The worst thing that I’ve ever written has got to be a short story that I wrote way back in middle school that had the most miserable ending you could ever imagine. When I wrote it, I thought that it was genius. Not so much anymore. I can scarcely remember the details. I think that it would be cool to see one of my books made into a movie! It would be really interesting to see how another person interprets the story I wrote and the characters as well.

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  5. Haha, no! I was way too shy to read it out and I asked my youth group leader to do it. Still I had to stand on stage in our tiny little choir while it was read out 🙂 I know! It would be an amazing experience! Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Your answer to number four made me laugh! Maybe because I completely relate. Tolkien, Lewis and Dickens are master wordsmiths, but maybe editing isn’t their strongest point… Actually I think C.S. Lewis can be pretty concise, but Dickens and Tolkien are expert ramblers. I love them all to death.

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  7. 😀 Yeah, after I posted it, I thought “Well, Lewis isn’t actually that rambly, I should have said Hugo instead!” But boy, Dickens can go on! The first sentence of A Tale of Two Cities, is literally an entire paragraph! I love them too, despite their editing issues! 🙂

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  8. Indeed, Hugo is a more apt comparison! But the most long-winded author of all (that I have read) is Leo Tolstoy. Victor Hugo I could handle, but Tolstoy was altogether too much for me. Maybe it’s just because the story of War and Peace wasn’t as interesting to me as Les Miserables, but I didn’t enjoy it much. I adore a lot of rambly authors, but I am not fond of Tolstoy.

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  9. Oh yes, I’ve been reading Anna Karenina…and…whoa…that man is long winded. I haven’t read War and Peace yet, but I plan to do it one day, even though I’m kind of dreading it (how could War and Peace be as interesting? It doesn’t have Gavroche in it, so it doesn’t have a chance). So far, I’m neither here nor there with Tolstoy. Don’t love him or hate him particularly. He’s just there. With a long story.

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  10. No worries, I really enjoyed your post!
    It would be! I’d love to write it one day, I even started brainstorming it a few years ago (I’m just waiting until the Lord of the Rings is in the public domain and then I’ll spring! Unfortunately, it doesn’t come into public domain until 2044…)
    Yeah, I know the feeling. It’s how I feel about my Phantom retelling. In August last year it was a masterpiece and about to become a bestseller. In February this year…it falls foul of basically every writing crime ever committed.
    I would really love to see a movie based off my own book. I wouldn’t mind them changing certain things, but what really annoys me is when the themes and central messages are played with. But I’d love to see the casts and scores and general feel of the movie!

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  11. Haha, YES!!! And oh my word, we are nuts, aren’t we??
    I know?? Sometimes I feel like I should be all nervous about showing people my work, because that’s how writers just are, but I’m not. At least, I’m not so long as no one criticises my child.

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  12. Yikes, I always forget that Lord of the Rings doesn’t enter public domain until 2044… it always gets treated like a classic so it’s easy to forget that technically speaking… it still isn’t. I don’t know if I could wait until 2044!
    I agree; making changes to little things in a movie isn’t generally a big deal to me as long as the heart of the story remains the same. I think that that’s the most important part. But, of course, faithful adaptations are always a little more appealing to me! It would really be cool to see your own book put into moving picture and color and to be able to see it with your eyes and hear it with your ears! I think that that would be so exciting!

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  13. My thoughts exactly! Without Gavroche, what exactly is the point??? Best of luck with your Tolstoy endeavors! His work certainly takes some doing to plow through, but with some determination and snacks it is possible.

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  14. YEEEES!! Thank you so much for tagging me–I was hoping you would! 🙂

    And your answers are lovely! And wow, that’s an impressive number of drafts finished!

    Oooh, retelling of LotR sounds epic! Excellent time period/setting idea too. I definitely agree that Tolkien was influenced by his war experienced; I noticed that when a LotR character recounts a battle, they almost always mention the fallen–even if the battle was won in the end. And just look at how many of the songs/poetry are laments for the fallen, or for times and places lost forever…

    Well, we’re similar in that our characters all have aspects of our personalities! Also, stories ending at daybreak/dawn is an awesome symbol!

    I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing snippets of your writing process and habits!

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  15. I know! It’s not actually as old as I thought it was. I also thought “King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table” was much older than it is, but it was written by Roger Lancelyn Green, who was a friend of Lewis’ (and Tolkien too, I’m not sure), and it was only published in 1953, so it isn’t really a classic either.
    Yes, I love it when the movie adaptions are faithful too! But I don’t mind the plot being improved, or things explained, which I think Andrew Lloyd Webber did a good job of in the Phantom musical. He improved the original plot, without destroying the heart of the story.
    Goodness, it would be AMAZING. I shouldn’t get too excited though. I need to be published first 😛

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  16. I need to get over and check your post out!

    Haha thanks! Most of them will never see the light of day again.

    I definitely agree! I think Tolkien deals with war in a very different way to most other fantasy writers that I’ve read. He refrains from glorifying it in the ways I’ve seen other authors do (consciously or unconsciously, I’m not sure), but he definitely does put a lot of emphasis on courage and hope in war. In fact, I have a book on my shelf called “A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and A Great War” which is all about the influence of the Great War (ww1) on Lewis and Tolkien.

    I find it pretty much impossible to write a character without an aspect of me in it, they all bear a resemblance in one way or another. Thanks, I’ve always loved the image of dawn bringing a new hope and a new day!

    No worries! Thanks for commenting!

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