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Writer's Survey

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  • Kenyon
    Hi all, Kenyon (creeping out of her shyness shell again! Wow!) As most of you know, I m building a whole new website that will combine my personal author s
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 13, 2004
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      Hi all,

      Kenyon (creeping out of her shyness shell again! Wow!)

      As most of you know, I'm building a whole new website that will
      combine my personal author's site and a writer's site with tons of
      features like contests, articles, classes, a forum and maybe a
      weblog, giveaways, a monthly guest interview or column, a section on
      journaling, a newsletter and maybe, in time, an Ezine. One of the
      things that has always fascinated me is how other writer's write, so
      I'd like to write for the newsletter, Eros & Rust (which many of you
      receive each month and I thank every one of you for subscribing!),
      based on both my fascination with this area of writing and on this
      short, 12 question survey. I put this survey up last year but
      didn't get a really good cross section of answers at that time, so I
      figured, why not post it again? For any of you who answered before,
      I'd like to point out that there are 2 more questions this year and
      also if you have had any changes in the answers you would give to
      the original 10, you're more than welcome to fill it out again. If
      it's OK with your moderator, those of you would want to post your
      answers here for the others to see, should certainly do so - those
      who want to keep their answers private, as last time, can mail them
      to me directly at nomadagain2000@...

      Now I've read other posts on the many many forums I belong to about
      this very subject, so I believe that I'm not the only one interested
      in this aspect of the writing life. I think that this survey and its
      results will also be of interest to the members of this group and
      the other forum groups as well, so I'd appreciate it if you'd take a
      few minutes to answer the 12 questions on this survey and email it
      back to me (or post it on the forum, if you'd prefer and your
      moderator OK). If you want to know the results on the survey and
      don't want to wait until August, when the issue of Eros & Rust will
      carry the them plus a short article about them, you can, if you
      like, ask me in your email to send the results and I'll email them
      to you (or post them on this forum if everyone wants and anyone
      doesn't object) as soon as all the surveys are returned and collated.

      Thanks for your cooperation and Keep Writing!!!

      Regards, Kenyon Charboneaux

      www.firegravity.com (but it is massively unfinished as of yet -
      when it is done, though, it will be a large writer's site with
      contests, articles, classes, guest authors for columns and
      interviews, a journaling section, a forum, possibly a weblog, the
      newsletter and more .... hopefully, it will be up and functioning in
      the next 2 - 3 weeks - my main problem - other than a lack of time -
      is getting instant downloading set up and I'd appreciate any
      instructions or help anyone could give me on the subject - remember
      to keep it in techno-dufus speak. I'm 1/4 Luddite and 3/4 techno-
      dummy)

      Editor of Eros & Rust, original fiction and everything else the
      kitchen sink can hold in a newsletter/ezine by writers for writers!

      Author of Blood Kiss, Cri du Coeur & 8 City Tales : Darkness
      Visible; the Higby nominated City Terminus; and The Winter Mirror
      soon to be published in the anthology Adumbra from Magellan Books.
      Other short fiction work may be found in the print magazines,
      Vampire's Crypt, Writer's Journal, Spectre Magazine and in the
      ezine, Anotherealm.

      SURVEY BEGINS HERE —

      1) Do you have any rituals associated with your writing?

      For example, Hemingway always sharpened 12 brand new pencils when he
      sat down to write. (What he did with all those practically new
      pencils from the day before I have NO idea! And what did he even
      need them for? He used a typewriter! Which, by the way, is still on
      display in his house in Key West. I, myself, have even TOUCHED it!
      Had to sneak in when the guides were all other places, but hey - no
      one can stop a determined writer from touching such a sacred relic -
      if the writer is as determined as I was!)

      Truman Capote had three blocks of paper in different colors which he
      used for each of his 3 drafts. Although I can't remember the actual
      colors it went something like this - 1st draft, red, 2nd draft,
      blue, 3rd draft yellow.

      Another author, whose name escapes me (it is almost midnight after
      all!) used notebooks to write in. For the first draft he'd use only
      the left hand page and when he came to write the 2nd draft, he'd go
      back and write it on the right hand page.

      Virginia Woolf wrote her first novels standing up at a desk she had
      specially made - she did this so she could work like her sister,
      Vanessa, a painter, did - the pen being her paintbrush and the desk
      her easel.

      Some writers swear by a certain type of pen or pencil - do you?
      Some, like Virginia Woolf, would only use a certain type of paper -
      how about you?

      2) How do you organize your research and story notes?

      If by hand - do you use 3x5 cards, school project organizers, your
      own invention of a project planner in notebooks or 3-ring binders,
      accordion files? Have you always done it that way or have you tried
      several methods before settling on the one you use now?

      If you do it by computer - do you do it with a special software,
      like the Notedb, Treedb or Text Arranger? Or do you just use your
      word processor? If you do use a special software, which one do you
      use?

      3) Do you ever use your dreams as the basis for stories?

      4) Do you believe writers should only write what they know? Or do
      you think that research can take the place of what you don't know
      about things, places, people? On a metaphysical level, do you think
      that it is possible that one doesn't know what one knows until it's
      written out? Stephen King once wrote that no one knows what he or
      she really thinks about anything until they've actually written it
      down.

      5) Do you keep a journal? Do you keep a regular, daily journal (what
      teenage girls call diaries) or a writer's journal of story ideas? Do
      you keep a dream journal? Or do you keep all three? and if you do,
      are they in the same book or in different books? If you do keep a
      journal, do you keep it on the computer or in a blank book by hand?

      6) Do you have your own room? If not, do you have a special place to
      write? Stephen King used to write in the laundry room of the tiny
      trailer he and his wife lived in before he made it with Carrie.
      Mario Puzo, god knows how, wrote The Godfather sitting at the
      kitchen table with wife and kids and uproar all around him.

      7) Do you write every day or only when inspiration hits? If you do
      write every day, do you set yourself a quota of so many hours, so
      many words or so many pages? Which? If you do set yourself quotas,
      how do you feel when you meet them? When you fail to meet them? Do
      you write on a schedule - so many hours at a certain time of day? If
      yes, when do you write - morning or evening - and why? Is it because
      this is the most convenient time or the only time when you can write
      or because it is the time when you write best?

      8) How do you write? By hand or with a computer? If by hand, do you
      write in notebooks or on loose leaf paper? With a pen or a pencil?
      Is the paper colored or white, lined or unlined? Do you write at a
      desk or table or on a lapdesk? If by computer, do you use a word
      processor like MS Word or WPerfect or do you use one of the new
      special writer's softwares like Rough Draft, WriteItNow2, yWriter2
      or some other one and if you do, which is it and why?

      9) How do you feel when you write and the writing is going well?
      Those times when the words just flow and nothing impedes your
      imagination or your ability to express yourself?

      10) WHY do you write? To communicate? To be "inside", like Anais
      Nin? Because you can't NOT write, like so many many of the greats
      have said of themselves? For filthy lucre (BIG GRIN) - fame and
      fortune?

      11) Are you an intuitive writer who lets the characters tell the
      story through you, or a conscious writer, who uses outlines, note
      keeping (whether electronic or card files), deep planning or
      summaries?

      12) Do you have a desire to write the Great American Novel, or to
      reinvent the genre you work in or to experiment with the form and
      structure of the novel? Or are you content to write for the market
      and inside the box (as is said far too often these days and is
      becoming a cliche of our times)?
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