Confessions of a Writer Tag

So the incredibly lovely Nicolette Elzie of A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly created this 20-question Tag to get to know more about the different writers out here in the blog-o-sphere. For her original post on the tag and the participation guidelines, go here.

She was kind enough to tag me (THANK YOU, NICOLETTE!), so here we go!

1. When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
I started writing when I was in Middle School. I’d just finished reading Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet for the third time and got it in my head to start writing my own book. Of course when I went back to said manuscript in High School, I realized it was total crud and scrapped it.

But the writing bug never went away, so I started a new project. I’ve never been able to shake free of it. Writing and Fiction are the only things that make sense to me 90% of the time, so whether or not I wanted to choose a more logical means of employment, the decision wasn’t really mine.

2. What genre do you write?
YA Fantasy.

3. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
So the beginning of my current WIP is kind of a convoluted story. Basically I wrote book 2 of my series first, then when I was plotting out the current WIP for NaNo last year, I realized it was actually book 1 of the series and switched the two. So I’ve been working on the series since 2007(maybe?), current WIP since NaNo 2014.

As for what it’s about…

Guarded is about twin sisters, Kjersten and Chloe Taylor, who are manipulators of the natural world. Their abilities to control water and fire could determine the outcome of a political war that has ravaged the magical community for centuries, but Kjersten will do anything to keep her and her sister out of harm’s way.

Unwilling to get involved, Kjersten keeps her knowledge of the war and their abilities secret, so when Chloe throws fire, the sisters’ relationship is tested, the results of which could mean death for either one.

4. What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
So apparently I carried around notebooks in elementary school, full of little stories I’d scribble down when I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher. I was a really great student, guys.

5. What’s the best part about writing?
Uncovering the secrets my characters/world are hoarding. A year ago, I thought I had everything planned out for the series, but this past rewrite, the story/world have expanded, revealing details and secrets I didn’t know existed. Each revelation leaves me in a fit of toddler-level excitement.

6. What’s the worst part about writing?
This one’s easy – when the writing isn’t good enough for the characters and their story. Writing is a very subjective monster, but sometimes writing can be objectively not good. I’ve worked my butt off the past couple years to gather more tools for my writing toolbox, but I know I will always have room to grow. (Another reason I advocate for CP’s and beta readers.)

7. What’s the name of your favorite character and why?
My No. 1 will always be Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet. She’s noble, compassionate, intelligent and ambitious. She wants to be knight, and so she becomes one. She loves fiercely and fights passionately, but she won’t belittle herself or her ambitions, even for a prince.

No. 1 book crush at the moment: Rowan from Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. Mmmmm, Rowan.

As for my favorite character in my books/series, it’s currently this guy names Brenhin. Not a romantic or lead character at all, but he came out of nowhere in this latest draft of Guarded and has become this really awesome, dynamic lynchpin of a character for the entire series.

8. How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
Depends on the day and week. Normally, I try to put in at least three hours a day in the evenings. My day is as follows: wake-up, take care of Indy the border collie, grab coffee, day job, come home, take care of Indy, go to Starbucks, WRITE UNTIL MY FINGERS BLEED! Jk, but not really… there’s no blood though, unless you count what’s in the MS…

SIDE NOTE: I’m a crazy person with no life. My friends live in other states and I talk to them via social media. Because of this, I’m able to devote my free time to writing.

9. Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?
I did not go to college. I enlisted in the Army as a photojournalist and got my education as such through the Defense Information School. I attempted college afterward, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Too slow paced and cost way too much. Maybe I’ll go back when I can afford to, but I don’t think I could go for a degree. I’d just take the courses I wanted to take for the knowledge I wanted.

10. What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?
I have my pet peeves of all three, and I’ve violated my pet peeves of all three. I get rage-y about dialogue punctuation though.

11. What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
I’ve collected a lot of fantastic advice over the years, but my favorite is to write the story you want to read.

12. What advice would you give to another writer?
Write the story you want to read. 🙂

13. What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
Does Twitter count? It collects all the links to advice and other awesomeness. You can check out my Helpful Tidbits page for a list of my frequently visited writing sites though.

14. Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
In no specific order: cuddling/playing with Indy, enjoying a delicious meal, playing my cello, and singing very loudly in my car.

15. What is the best book you’ve read this year?
So. Many. Choices… Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas.

16. What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
I don’t know that I can say one specific movie, but the show Hannibal was magnificent.

17. What is your favorite book or series of all time?
Big surprise here. It’s the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce.

18. Who is your favorite author?
I don’t know that I have one to be honest. I admire different things about different authors, so I’ll put them below…

Gorgeous Prose: Laini Taylor, Incredible Pacing: Sarah J Maas, Epic Characters: Tamora Pierce, Vibrant Voice: Maria Dahvana Headley.

All these ladies are also brilliant world builders.

19. What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

  1. Finish the rewrite of Guarded in October.
  2. Write a vomit draft of Enveloped (series book 3) in November.
  3. Polish Guarded in December.

20. Where else can we find you online?
You can find me on Twitter @breeannapierce. I have yet to get on Tumblr or Instagram. Sorry. :-/

Well that’s it for this Q&A. Hope I didn’t scare any of ya’ll away with my crazy. 😉

And for the wonderful writers I’m going to tag…

J.L. Gribble @ J.L. Gribble | Thoughts & Conversations On Writing, Editing, Life, and Cats

Lynanne @ Daybreak In Autumn

Melanie @ Melanie Noell Bernard | Aspiring Novelist

Cara @ Geek Gril Senshi

Deidre @ Deidre Dykes, Writer

Aura @ Into The Imagination Vortex

My apologies if you don’t do tags! But if you do, please leave a link in the comments below! THANKS!!!