Sunday, February 10, 2008

A writing meme

Filched from Marie. I thought the questions in this one were rather interesting.

What’s the last thing you wrote?
What I'm working on now. The Ancestor Crown, a novel about the Agricolan invasion of Caledonia. Historical with some fantasy touches.

Was it any good?
I like to think so. But then, I am biased. ;)

What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
I think that would be the Bubble and Shell books I wrote with my cousin when we were small. They were stories about the comical misadventures of two mermaids. We tried to write at least one per sleepover and had a whole stack of them by the end!

Write poetry?
Oh God, no. I did when I was a lot younger, until I quickly realised I just didn't have it in me.

Angsty poetry?
See above.

Favourite genre of writing?
Historical, fantasy, and science fiction.

Most fun character you ever created?
You know, I think it would have to be those two mermaids. After them, I started to create characters laden down with issues.

Most annoying character you ever created?
At the moment, it's Aulus Mamilius Vitulus, a tribune of the Twentieth Legion (The Ancestor Crown). At least the rest of the cast seem to agree with me, though.

Best plot you ever created?
I would say the one I'm writing now, except I really owe it to Tacitus. I do like the embellishments I've made, however. :)
And I very much like the mystery that forms the basis of my Antonine novel.

How often do you get writer’s block?
Is that writer's block as in don't know what to write next, or do know but can't seem to invoke the muse to let me write it down? Because I don't really get the former, but I frequently get the latter. :(

Write fan fiction?
I did, for a few years. But not for about a year now, ever since the muse for my Caledonian series returned. It overpowered the fanfiction muse and locked it up in a cupboard somewhere.

Do you type or write by hand?
I prefer to type, that way I can do it quickly and get the story down while the ideas are still fresh in my head. When I'm writing by hand, I'm so busy making sure that every letter is the right size, that every i is dotted and every t crossed, that I often lose the thread of the prose before I get to the end of the first sentence. But I always make sure that, wherever I go, I have a notebook and a spare pen with me, just in case I need to scribble something down.

Do you save everything you write?

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
Yes. The Ancestor Crown is actually an old story that I went back to after almost ten years. I was obsessed with Roman history when I was very little, especially the Romans in my locale, and when we came to do the Romans and Celts in primary school, I came up with the characters Marcus and Gairea (though they didn't actually have names at that point). I put them away for many years, focusing instead on my fantasy stuff, then, two years ago, I was thinking about the stories I'd made up when I was small and suddenly remembered them. I wrote down the first scene I'd came up with, then another, then another, spent several months reacquainting myself with the Romans and reading in-depth about Agricola and the Flavian occupation, then started reading and writing in earnest. All because I was at a loose end one rainy Sunday afternoon!

What’s your favourite thing that you’ve written?
Probably The Ancestor Crown. Though my fantasy/sci-fi effort, The Shadow of Thaya-fel, will always have a special place in my heart, despite its flaws.

Do you ever show people your work?
A select few.

Did you ever write a novel?
I started loads. To date, I've finished one. :(

Ever written romance or teen angst drama?
Not as a genre, though most of my books tend to include an element of at least one!

What’s your favourite setting for your characters?
At the moment it seems to be Roman Britain and Caledonia, though I've got ideas for the Neolithic and the Early Historic period.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
At the moment, two: The Ancestor Crown and its semi-sequel, set eighty years later.

Do you want to write for a living?
Yes, I do. But I also want to be an archaeologist.

Have you ever won an award for your writing?
No. I've never entered anything into a competition.

Ever written something in script or play format?
(grins) Yes. When I was ten I wrote a pantomime-style script for Rapunzel. Some of my friends and I actually got to put it on in front of our class. It was a shambles, but it was a good laugh!

What are your 5 favourite words?
I don't really know.

Do you ever write based on yourself?
Not consciously.

What character have you created that most resembles yourself?
So far, the first two heroines I created (Aoife from Shadow of Thaya-fel and Gairea from The Ancestor Crown) turned out a lot like me. Studious, self-conscious, self-critical misfits. Thankfully, they both grew into their own characters, but I suppose they are quite a bit like me.

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
I like mixed endings, with some happy and some sad elements. Sometimes there is a bit of a cliffhanger.

Have you written based on an artwork you have seen?
Not that I know of.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Absolutely obsessed.

Does music help you write?
Very much so. The type depends on what I'm writing at that moment. Emotive, powerful vocals like Chihiro Onitsuka are a must, and I listen to film soundtracks and Celtic artists a lot. I've built up quite an extensive "soundtrack" in my head, including music for certain scenes and some character themes. :)

Quote something you’ve written.
(from the untitled Antonine novel)

The first he knew of an attack was the spear - the high whine, the lash of air as it sliced past, barely a handspan in front of his face. His horse reared, screaming, and he pulled sharply on the reins, digging his legs into its flanks to avoid being thrown off. He reached across, clinging to the reins with one hand, and wrested his sword from its scabbard. A war horn shrilled from the covering of the woods, in the same instant that a cry of "Picti!" went up from behind. Firmus turned his head, just in time to see a pack of blue-skinned wildmen burst, howling, from the trees.


Marie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and doing this meme. I enjoyed reading your answers. Great excerpt too.

Gabriele C. said...

That's a cool meme. I think I'm going to steal it as well.

Nice snippet, too.

Crystal said...

Good posting on the meme! I use to love mermaids growing up! That's one of the reasons I wanted to be a marine biologist!LOL! Thought I could go find me some mer-people! I loved anything dealing with Atlantis too;o)

Very much like the quote! You can list some more quotes if you want to;o) Have a good day!!

Kirsten Campbell said...

Marie - Hello, and welcome. Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comment.

Gabriele - Thanks. I'll look forward to seeing your answers.

Crystal - Lol! I've always loved the idea of Atlantis, too, and other sunken cities. I think that's the reason I'm getting quite into all that archaeology they're doing at the bottom of the North Sea, discovering settlements and homes that had existed when it was still land. And my sci-fi had some monster merfolk who had been created by the villain to defend the sea around his island realm. Good times. >:)

And thanks! Heh, I've been trying to fix up an excerpt, but because my attendance at uni has been so patchy the last couple of weeks, I'm still catching up on stuff. :( I'll try and have one up soon, though.

Crystal said...

Girl, let me ask you a question...You really believe Atlantis was real?? I have a reason why I ask this.

Kirsten Campbell said...

Not Atlantis per se, but Doggerland was definitely real! :)

Sometimes I wonder if maybe, just maybe, the memory of Doggerland survived the millennia through word of mouth, until by Plato's time, it had become part of mythology.

(shrugs) It's a thought. :)

Crystal said...

That is so interesting about Doggerland but how in the heck did you get the link in the comments? Never been able to do that!

I do believe it was real, whatever name it went by! I'll have to do a post one day soon on my "opinion" about it!

Have a good Tuesday;)

Celedë Anthaas said...

Fun meme *steals*

Crystal said...

Hey sweet! If you don't post anything tomorrow or even this evening, I thought i'd come over to let you know that I hope you have an awesome Valentines Day tomorrow! I don't know if you have a special someone so if you do, hope you have fun;o)Hell, even if you DON'T have one...HAVE FUN!!LOL!