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Spooky Scary Writing Tag

Happy (almost) Halloween, lovelies! Let's get into the spirit, shall we?

I snagged this tag from Jenna Moreci's fantastic video and thought it'd be fun, so here we go!

1. Ghost: Have you ever originally put a character/scene/theme in the book and then later taken it out?

As a lot of you know, I do a lot of planning and outlining before I write, so I don't tend to have a whole lot of content that gets taken out later on. If something doesn't work, usually it gets taken out during outlining. Probably the closest thing to this that's happened in my (published) books was Maize's character in The Otherworld Trilogy. He was originally planned to be right along with the other five in Book 1, Dreams of Otherworld, but after a slight alteration to the plot he ended up working out much better in his current position, being introduced in Book 2 with fully intact memories. But again, that happened during outlining, before I even wrote anything.

However, I'm currently deep in editing Book 3 of the trilogy, and did cut an entire chapter during draft 2. I found it wasn't really necessary after a second read-through, and the few little details of it that were necessary could be more smoothly worked into other chapters.

2. Bat: Most misunderstood character?

Of my finished and in progress projets the most misunderstood is probably Maize at the moment--both in story and by readers. If you haven't read the trilogy or haven't gotten to Six Waking yet, without spoiling anything for you, Maize is one of the young psychics wrapped up in SAM's web and on top of it has his own little web of sorts going. His plans and intentions haven't quite been fully explored yet and he's got plenty up his sleeve for the final book, but he's not very well-liked by anybody so far. Which is fair, considering he's not exactly the greatest of guys. But as far as how deserving he is of that and where he's ultimately going--I guess you'll just have to wait for Everlast.

3. Jack-O-Lantern: What’s your most common source of inspiration to write?

If you've hung around this blog already you know how much music inspires me. I can barely write a word without music, much less delve into the creative insanity of my brain and sort it out. I listen to almost every genre but rock and metal are my favorites, and it really helps me get into a scene or a character. But honestly, I'm not sure where a lot of inspiration comes from. It seems like a lot of the time it just kind of spawns and I go with it. (*cough*Totally not how The Otherworld Trilogy came to math class...I swear...)

4. Zombie: Preferred form of writerly fuel?

Tea! I can barely go a day without chai tea, but peppermint is its rival for my favorite.

5. Vampire: Cheesiest trope that made it into your novel?

Umm....does the amnesia opening count? That, or I'll admit I'm a sucker for a bit of forbidden love. You'll find some nice paranormal star-crossed romance in my upcoming novel Kiss of Death.

6. Spider: What’s a character that’s fine from afar, but you would NOT want to interact with if they ever got close?

There are a few characters I could choose for this but I think I have to go with Jovanna from Arcatraissa. Stay back and out of her way, and she's great. She'll be perfectly nice, maybe even help you out if you need it. Just don't get between her and her ambitions. She may look little and sweet, but to all but the most select people she can be a nightmare.

(And yes, SAM and Maize are both on the list of potential characters for this, but...honestly I wouldn't want to know either of them from afar, either.)

7. Frankenstein’s Monster: Ever combined two characters into one/split one character into two?

I actually don't think I've ever done this.

8. Skeleton: Best tips for adding in character baggage without info-dumping?

Everybody who does this tag seems to be giving this answer so I guess I'm nowhere near original with this but on the bright side I guess that means lots of us authors are on the same page. I like to go with a bonding scene. It's realistic and lets you not only explore a character's past but develop their relationship with the other character(s), so two for one.

9. Cat: What’s a polarizing writing/bookish opinion that you have?

I've had quite a few discussions about this with other writers, and it seems the one that sparks the most debate is my belief that age does not define skill or dedication. As the 21-year-old author of three published novels (and more unpublished) I get a lot of mixed reactions, ranging from impressed to very skeptical. There seems to be a belief among some writers that while it's great that "younger people" (though I've always wondered how they define that, what age is considered old enough to be a serious writer?) like to write, they're not worth taking seriously. I can tell you guys I'm very serious about my writing, and have been since I was about 10. And I've met quite a few incredibly skilled young writers.

10. Demon: Most frequent writing distraction?

A tie between YouTube and my dog. I have a terrible habit of just looking up one song somebody suggested and then suddenly it's been 4 hours and I'm deep in the YouTube wormhole.

And as far as my dog...I mean, how can I resist?

Aaand there ya go! Maybe you know a little more about me and my writing now. Gotta pass this thing on, so I'm tagging Anne Stryker, Mariah Reeves, and fabulous co-authors Leah Jensen and Madeline Brackus (ZodiacRunner). And if you're a writer, too, join the fun! YouTube, blog, Facebook, whatever your preferred corner of the Internet, go ahead and post your answers.

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