- 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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)?