I’ve decided to start a new “series,” if I can call it that, where I post funny things that are tangentially related to writing and/or books. Even if the relation is all in my head. As always, my posts will probably be sporadic, but who doesn’t need a little more funny sometimes?
Here’s Jennifer Lawrence to tell us about her motivation as an artist. This is one of those “it’s funny because it’s so absolutely true” moments. (Read more…)
Katelyn L. asked, “What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? For example, world building, character developments, editing, etc.”
Each aspect of writing has its challenges for me, and they crop up unexpectedly. I might be as familiar with a given character as I am with my own family, and one day just suddenly struggle to get through a scene with her. Or I might just be ripping along at a good pace and then suddenly hit a huge plot hole I never saw coming and sit there for four hours trying to figure out how that happened. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but for me, it’s not that any one thing has a tendency to go wrong… it’s that anything could go wrong at any time!
I actually did used to really struggle with action scenes, because I was afraid of committing to them and then not really pulling them off. Sometimes my short stories would read like a classic Greek play, where all this dialogue and character building would happen “on stage” and then the real action would sort of happen off-camera and we’d be watching the characters dealing with the aftermath. It became such a habit that I still occasionally catch myself doing it–not because I can’t or even don’t want to write the action scene, but because I was so used to doing things that way for so long. (Read more…)
Mary O. and Bookwyrm16 both asked, “What inspired you to write SKYLARK?”
What a great question—inspiration is so hard to pinpoint! For me it comes from everything around me, from the people I talk to to the books I read, the music I hear, the movies I see. But for SKYLARK, I can actually point to a single moment that inspired the idea for the world, which then led to everything else. (Read more…)
This question deals with a character in SKYLARK–there are some mild spoilerish parts in this answer! Nothing major gets revealed, but if you’re as anti-spoiler as I am and you haven’t read SKYLARK, be warned!
Carolina S. asked, “Nix is positively my favorite character! How did you come up with him?”
It’s funny–Nix is genderless, but almost everyone uses a gendered pronoun when they talk about the character, because we’re not used to saying “it” to describe sentient, animate creatures. More people seem to call it a “him,” but I’ve definitely come across plenty of people who call Nix a “her!”
For those who aren’t familiar with SKYLARK, Nix is a pixie–which, in Lark’s world, is the name for little mechanical insect-like creatures that the Institute uses to spy on its citizens. When Lark escapes, Nix tracks her, and after she incapacitates it, it’s forced to become her reluctant ally.
Nix started out as sheer necessity. As I was writing the first draft of SKYLARK (which was then called THE IRON WOOD, but that’s another story) I was just ripping along at a great pace until Lark escaped the city and was out in the wilderness. Completely alone. I realized she had no one to talk to and no one to interact with, and while there are a lot of amazing books out there which handle this situation beautifully, it wasn’t actually what I was going for. So I decided she needed a companion (aside from Oren, who she meets later). (Read more…)
Your questions are starting to come in, and I decided to kick this new feature off by choosing a question about why I do what I do!
Lexie F. asked, “What made you want to become an author?”
Reading was probably the single most significant part of my childhood and teenage years. Books were my best friends and my greatest love, and I never went anywhere without them. I could never get enough words and stories and characters. Being completely and utterly absorbed by a book remains one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences I can think of. How can I not want to give that in return to kids today?
I love writing, but the drive to do it professionally comes from the desire to share these stories and worlds with kids today the way the authors of my childhood did with me. I want to form those same bonds across time and space, and if I can make even one reader get lost in my books, I’ll have done my job.
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To see more questions I’ve answered, click here.