7 Questions for Fiction Writers

typewriter keyboard

1. What are you afraid of when you write? What are you certain of? 

2. What color is sad? What’s the shape of hopelessness? What smell lingers from resignation?

3. When you feel happy, content and peaceful, can you write? When you are in the depths of despair can you?

4. Think very carefully: if you could only read one novel for the rest of your life, what would it be and why did you pick it?

5. Do you believe in aliens? Do you believe in God? Do you have a pet? Do you like bananas?

6. So, if the novel you picked for number 4 wasn’t available, what would you pick? How long did it take you to come up with that?

7. Why will you/won’t you write today? Is that the truth?

 

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8 responses to “7 Questions for Fiction Writers

  1. Fascinating questions. They’re totally existential and made me think about writing in general — and my project specifically — in new ways. And I don’t even know why or how!

    Very cool mental exercise, Linda. Very cool.

  2. 1. What are you afraid of when you write? What are you certain of?
    I’m not afraid of what I write; I’m afraid of how people will read it. The only thing I am ever certain of—certain as in, I know without doubt, without reservation, without guilt—is how it makes me feel. It probably sounds cliché, but it’s true.

    2. What color is sad? What’s the shape of hopelessness? What smell lingers from resignation?
    (Dandelion) yellow; if you’ve ever stood watching a storm approach and can see the wall of water heading your way, then you know the shape of hopelessness; wet cigarette ashes.

    3. When you feel happy, content and peaceful, can you write? When you are in the depths of despair can you?
    I write no matter what.

    4. Think very carefully: if you could only read one novel for the rest of your life, what would it be and why did you pick it?
    Jane Eyre made me feel in love for the first time, and the novel made me love literature. I have read it nine times, and I’ve never sickened of it. I wrote papers on it in high school and yet again in college. Every time I read it, there is something new. Every emotion is real. Why wouldn’t I want that for the rest of my life?

    5. Do you believe in aliens? Do you believe in God? Do you have a pet? Do you like bananas?
    Residential, yes. Out of this world, sometimes; sometimes; yes, two cats and a lot of peeves; not really, but I still eat one for breakfast every day.

    6. So, if the novel you picked for number 4 wasn’t available, what would you pick? How long did it take you to come up with that?
    I saved this for last and I still can’t think of anything. I was going to write that the next novel would be Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and then I stopped myself. Then I stopped myself from writing Twilight. Oh hell, if I’m going to be honest, it’s going to be Twilight.

    7. Why will you/won’t you write today? Is that the truth?
    If you make the distinguishing mark between writing and writing, then I probably will but I’m afraid I won’t. I made a goal in December to write every day this year. I take my goals as personal promises to myself and I *never* break a promise. However, I’ve just finished my third draft of my WIP, but I don’t know how to make it any better, and I won’t receive feedback on it for another two weeks. Today is the first day I haven’t toted it around with me since I started writing it. It feels wrong, like a part of me is missing. Actually, it makes me feel a little like crying.

    I suppose I could rewrite my query letter…again.

  3. Maybe also: Who, if anyone, is in your ‘greek chorus’, standing in a row over there by the window, or peering over your shoulder as you write, or think about writing. Are they goading or cheering you on?