I want to start by staying a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my Instagram post! The questions were fantastic!
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Now, let's get to those burning questions!
What gave you inspiration for your characters?
I'm a lover of all things fantasy. It's my favourite genre to read and I always had my story playing over and over in my head. The characters were always there from the beginning and when reading other fantasy novels, I knew I needed to start writing, these characters needed to be brought to life and their stories needed to be told.
Do your characters have similarities to people you know?
My main character is similar to me. She suffered a great loss and her journey through grief reflects my own and writing her story as really helped and continues to help me. She's kind, loyal, and puts others before herself. All qualities I have, and she was one of my favourite characters to write because I could relate to her more than the others.
What inspired you to write this story?
Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to be an author. Any chance I got to write, I did. I've been writing stories all my life and I decided it was time to write the story that's been in my head for a few years. When my friends and I started playing Dungeons & Dragons, I decided to create the main character from my story. Playing as her in the game really helped me see things from her point of view, feel everything she did, and I knew from that first session that I needed to write the story. The time to write it was now.
What does a usual day of writing look like for you?
It really depends on the mood I'm in that day. Some days I'll wake up really inspired to write, other days not so much, and that's okay! Usually my routine would be to make myself a giant cup of tea, my writing fuel, make sure I'm in comfortable clothing and grab one of my bookish blankets. Most of the time I sit on the sofa whilst I write. I find comfort is key! Once my laptop is turned on, I open my Word document, open up my book one soundtrack on Spotify, then fall straight into writing.
What does your writing process look like?
In the beginning, I had no plan whatsoever. I already had the story in my head and I started writing without any preparation. That worked fantastically until around chapter 6. I hit a wall. I felt like giving up because I couldn't connect one plot point to the next. It was then I decided to open up Scrivener and began planning. I started outlining the story, putting down what I knew was going to happen at the start, middle, and end. I created character sheets detailing each of their appearances, their backgrounds, and their pasts. Once I did this, the story came flooding back to me. I'm not a planner at all, but that little bit of prep helped me so much.
Once draft one was complete, I went through draft two adding in additional scenes, spell checking, and making sure the story flowed. It was then sent to my beta readers. I was extremely nervous but my team are AMAZING. Their feedback helped tremendously and the story has gotten even better! I've enjoyed the beta reading process so much that we will be completing a round two of reading very soon. Once I'm happy and the beta reading stage is over, I'll be sending draft four to an editor. After that, it'll be ready to publish!
Do you write in chronological order or do you sometimes write particular scenes first?
I write in chronological order, especially in draft one. For me, draft one is all about getting the story down in its rawest form. Once the story is down, draft two is where I go back in and get those specific scenes added (if I haven't already added them in draft one). When writing draft one I found that new scenes were popping into my head and I knew that I'd be adding them into draft two.
My advice to writers would be, if you have specific scenes in mind you know you want to include but maybe they won't happen until later on, open up a Word document and write that scene whilst it's still fresh in your mind. Then when you are ready, copy and paste it into your draft.
How do you get yourself out of a slump?
Writing slumps are real and are so difficult for any writer. I've had a few whilst writing this book and it's all about knowing when to stop and take a break. Don't write words for the sake of it. Whenever I felt annoyed with my WIP or I was getting frustrated because I couldn't find the correct way to word something, I just saved the document and shut down the laptop. It's good to take a break from your writing, even if its just a few hours. Having a clear head is best.
If you ever feel yourself going into a slump, don't write. Take some time for yourself whether that's going for a walk, making yourself a cup of tea, or taking a quick shower. Your wellbeing comes before your work.
Who has been your favourite character to write?
This is a tough question! I love all my characters (even the bad guys). My main character I would say was my absolute favourite but, there is a warlock who I only intended to be in one chapter who has become one of the main characters! He surprised me and I love writing him!
How do you prioritize writing time with other life duties?
I usually write after I finish work. When it gets to 5pm, I have dinner and then I take some time to write. It can vary between writing for an hour to two or writing for only ten minutes. I write mostly at the weekends when I do have more time but if there are other things going on in life that need my attention I always focus on them first before going back to my WIP. It doesn't matter if you only write for ten minutes and only get 100 words down, it's still better than nothing.
Be extra careful not to burn yourself out! It's okay to not write for a day or two, or even a week! Life can be unpredictable and busy so, like I said before, make sure you're looking after your wellbeing first.
Do you plot each character before you start or do you write them as you go?
At first I wrote them as I went. I knew what they looked like and had a rough idea of their personalities. There's nothing wrong with diving straight in but I hit a wall around 6 chapters in and I had to take some time and plot the characters. Knowing your characters is key when writing. If you don't know them then how are you supposed to write them?
My advice is a little bit of planning would be beneficial. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. All I did was open a new text document for each character on Scrivener and listed their appearance, if they were dead or alive, if they had powers what they were and a little bit of background on them.
This Q&A has been so much fun! I hope my answers help you with your own writing!
If you need any support, or have any other questions that come to mind, please reach out to me on social media. I'm more than happy to help all fellow writers in their writing journey.
Thank you again to those who sent me these amazing questions and thank you for taking the time to read my blog!