The Writing Meme


The Writing Meme from Charlotte at Charlotte’s Web

What’s the last thing you wrote?
A short short story, just this past Friday.

Was it any good?
Not sure. It’s in fermenting mode now. I have a lot of hope for it, though.

What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
The first short story I wrote got published in a lit mag I just adore. One of the things I did with the money I got for being published in this litmag was spend the ENTIRE amount on extra copies of that particular issue. Several years later, I still have copies of my story and that issue.

Write poetry?
Yes–mostly in college. I haven’t written poetry since college, though.

Angsty poetry?
Oh yep. Mostly about sex and longing. My brother was baffled by it, and I’m pretty sure he wanted to barf when he read my poetry.

Favourite genre of writing?
Reading: literary fiction and nonfiction foodie literature. Writing: literary fiction.

Most fun character you’ve ever created?
A dog. He was the narrator.

Most annoying character you’ve ever created?
Ah–I LOVE creating these. Every story should have someone you can’t stand in real life–they sparkle in written form! My most annoying character is the best friend of my novel’s main character. He loves to mess things up, and he can’t shut his mouth EVER.

Best plot you’ve ever created?
I take the fifth.

Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
Someday, you’ll hopefully read this.

How often do you get writer’s block?
Whenever I put a LOT of pressure on myself to write in a specific amount of time. The worst writer’s bloc I’ve had in the last few years was during NaNoWriMo.

Write fan fiction?

Do you type or write by hand?
I hand write in my moleskine journal. But if I have an audience in mind (this blog, my fiction)…I’ll type.

Do you save everything you write?
I do, until I lose it off my hard drive or whatever. And then I try looking for it months later and can’t find it. And then I have the terrors. For instance, I thought I’d saved every thing I’d written in my novel, but a year later, there are sections I can’t find anymore. Where did they go?!

Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
Most of the time, nope.

What’s your favourite thing you’ve written?
A little nonfiction piece about a super personal situation that got published in an online litmag. It is perhaps the rawest and most honest thing I’ve ever written. Submitting it for publication was one of the most frightening things I’ve done as a writer.

What’s everyone else’s favourite story that you’ve written?
I don’t know. No one tells me what they like, it’s not like they get to vote on all my stories. The most correspondence I’ve ever gotten is about the first short story I wrote and got published, though.

Do you ever show people your work?
Yes. Except my novel, which I keep mostly hidden.

Did you ever write a novel?
In progress.

Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

What’s your favourite setting for your characters?
Los Angeles. I disliked living there, and so I guess it is a good conflict-driven setting for me and for my characters. I wish I could write more about San Francisco or New York or London or Seoul.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Novel. Novella. Short stories. I am also reading four books at once, so I guess that’s my modis operandi.

Do you want to write for a living?
Yes. But I don’t.

Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Never won. I won something in my MFA program.  But no awards outside of school, though I was a finalist for an award.

Ever written anything in script or play format?

What are your five favourite words?
Never thought about this! I don’t think of writing down to specific words! I guess my favorite words to use are “but then,” “and then…” Lame.

Do you ever write based on yourself?
I probably base my writing on my life and its characters more often than I write based on myself.

What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Probably the first person narrator in that very first short story. But that character was based on me decades ago. So that is probably no longer the case. Otherwise, I very much hate basing characters on myself. That is why I am a fiction writer–writing nonfiction is incredibly uncomfortable for me.

Where do you get ideas for your characters?
My mom and dad. People around me.

Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings or cliff-hangers?

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen?
No–but good idea!

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Kind of, not really. Too many years spent blogging has made me happily carefree about grammar and typos, at least for the first draft.

Ever write anything in chatspeak (how r u?)
On my crackberry, yes. And that’s it. Chatspeak is strictly for chatspeak.

Entirely in L337?
I AM 3L33T!!!! h3y d00d pwn you! …I did, I am suck a geek. But only in chat, again. Not in my “writing.”

Was that question appalling and unwriterly?
Yes! But it was funny, too.

Does music help you write?

Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.
“The day was hot and replete with ice cube fantasies.” My WORST opening line, ever. It cracks me up.

I tag anyone of my friends who is a writer!



Filed under Memories, Writing

9 responses to “The Writing Meme

  1. Great meme, isn’t it? I loved reading about your writing habits. Thanks for explaining what L337 is …

  2. This was fun!

    I admit, it really makes me want to read your stories…

  3. i am actually struggling with chatspeak in my novel-in-progress. it’s so much a part of our daily lives but seems so unliterary. how much chatspeak can i put in to give the correct amount of ‘dialogue’ but without making it like a boring list of back-and-forth. right now, my limit is three sentences. plus, i am not sure how to format this. strunk and white doesn’t have any suggestions.

  4. charlotteotter: thank you for the meme! It *is* fun. It’s been awhile since I typed in hackerspeak, ahhh “L337” took me way back. 🙂

    nova: I guess if I ever get a book published and go “on tour,” I’ll do this meme again and hopefully you won’t be the only one who wants to read my stories. 😛 Heh.

    no milk: chatspeak is entirely possible–have you read Mark Dunn? He’s done some great experimental things–for instance, a book written entirely in footnotes (“Ibid”) and then a book called “ellow minnow pea” in which letters are slowly removed from the story’s alphabet (and from the literal text–by the end, he’s only writing with a few letters). I can’t see, therefore, why you wouldn’t be able to write as much or as little of your work in chatspeak! I can definitely see a gem of a short short in chatspeak. How fun would that be?

    You can, btw, format it however you like. It’s the beauty of cutting new ground. 🙂

    Though…I HATE italics. Don’t write it in italics! But that’s just my thing.

  5. i have read parts of a novel that was written in a large amount of chatspeak and i found it very distracting and almost unreadable, hence, my dilemma. i’ll have to check out mark dunn. he sounds like my cup of tea…

    you know what’s worse? transcribing texting. i also decided that my limit was one line of text and everything else is narrated.

    as for italics, i agree with you, particularly in novels. i love how junot diaz just assumes that you know the mishmash dialect he uses and not bother to translate anything in oscar wao. but in my blog, i use it to add a sort of snootiness for using foreign words. 😛

  6. heather

    Oh italics… My friend wrote a lesbian sex scene entirely in italics. Then, during workshop, someone asked why that passage was in italics. Another friend said, “Oh, didn’t you know lesbian sex is always in italics?” and my friend nearly choked, she was laughing so hard.

    Even funnier, most of the class didn’t realize our friend was joking about italics… The writer made a t-shirt that said “Always in Italics.” (In, of course, italics.)

  7. asian random

    omg chemtrails

  8. no milk: I think you’ll like Mark Dunn. 🙂

    heather: italics–brrrrrr. I don’t mind a word here and there, or even a line here and there. But entire paragraphs? Bleah. Entire pages? Bleah, bleah! I don’t read them. I always tell people that if they put something in italics, know that a good amount of readers will just SKIP those parts, so consider that before italicizing.

    asian random: I had to go look up chemtrails because of your comment! Ahh–the lingering exhaust trail of planes in the sky. Yes, those are contrails, and in this picture I thought they were particularly wonderful in the composition of the picture–especially juxtaposed with the road ahead.

  9. Pingback: The Writing Meme « distraction no. 99

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