This was supposed to happen during NaNo, as far as I’m aware, but I didn’t get around to it in time because I was busy writing. (Ironically.) However, since at 50,000+ words I’m still technically in the beginning of the novel and therefore still plowing through, I think I can still answer the questions with no reservations.
- Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?
In some ways, it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. The entire thing sprang from a visual of samurai on motorcycles, and the book is very in keeping with that mental image. It’s definitely my most ‘anime’ novel. It’s defying my expectations by being much longer than I anticipated, but I’m very okay with that. A lot needs to happen, and I don’t want to rush it.
- What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)? ‘Blood rained from the black sky.’
- Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out? I’m a bit of both, really. I find it very important to have a beginning, a middle and an ending; but most everything in-between those points is made up as I go along. Whenever I try to plot everything out, I end up smothered in ‘have-to’s’ and plot points, and I never get anything done. When I try to do everything by the seat of my pants, I don’t have enough structure and it falls apart within the first 20,000 words or so.
- What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal? I…don’t, usually. I have a small internal victory and then keep writing. Sometimes I reward myself by watching an episode of a kdrama, but usually I just put that off until I’m completely done with writing for the day because I don’t want my mental train de-railed by other ideas.
- What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names? I look for a catchy name that holds hidden meaning. ‘The Dying of the Light’ indicates everything I want – raging against darkness, upholding justice, probably getting the short end of the stick.
- What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why? I really enjoy starting a novel, but honestly I don’t enjoy one part more than the other. It’s all fun, because it’s constantly growing and changing and surprising me.
- Who’s your current favourite character in your novel? I don’t usually have a single favorite. I try to make every character someone I enjoy writing, for various reasons. I suffer from ‘no minor character syndrome,’ where I try to make every character as interesting as possible and therefor end up with no minor characters. It’s not as much of a problem as you might think.
- What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!) I’ve researched so much for this novel, but not as much for others. It’s feudal Japan, which I know a lot about already, but I get to make up a lot of it because it’s futuristic feudal Japan. Mainly I’ve researched random things from the inner workings of motorcycles to weather patterns of Liaoyang, China.
- Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself? I write better alone. I get into a much better groove when I can enclose myself, which is why I wear headphones even when I don’t need to. It helps cut out distractions. I used to be shy (read: paranoid) about sharing my work, but now I enjoy it and find feedback helpful.
- What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space! My favorite writing snack is definitely coffee, and I listen to music constantly (even though every now and then I need quiet for a specific scene). I write best at night, when my muse is awake and kicking.