Never Have I Ever

I wasn’t tagged for this, per se, but a favorite blog of mine introduced me to this from Bree Dawn’s The Long Voyage, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to bare my writer’s soul to the world with all its filthy little nooks and crannies. So if you haven’t headed over there yet, go check it out, along with Brooke at Low Expectations. Without further ado, let us begin.

Never have I ever…

… started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Heavens, yes. Hasn’t everyone? Whether I lost my mojo or just realized my project was a flaming piece of garbage better left unread, they’ve all collected together in a sad conglomeration of lost thoughts and cluttered cliches. My computer is a graveyard of unfinished works. Some have everything but the last chapter; some are mere notes cobbled together into some semblance of coherent literature. Either way, they’re never getting finished unless I’m struck with a bolt of inspiration from above.

… written a story completely by hand.

When your blitz of writing brilliance is interrupted by a family vacation that forces you to leave behind your computer, you can A) complain, B) adapt to your environment, or C) both. I wrote an entire novel in three of those cheap bonded leather journals you get from Office Depot. It took four days. Deciphering my Sanskrit handwriting took about two weeks. While I felt all special and Jane Austen-y at the time, if I had to use this method for every story I would throw myself in front of a train.

… changed tenses midway through a story.

Not really. If I ever do, it’s usually because of a typo, since the D and S keys are right next to each other (z.B., “believed” turning into “believes”). Almost everything I write is pretty reliably in the past tense. I did once try a short story in present tense, and by the time I was done I thought my brain was going to turn to confetti. Never again.

 not researched anything before starting a story.

Never. I need a firm foundation and facts to start with. Perhaps it’s the German in me, or just the fact that I’m an ISTJ who despises flying by the seat of my pants only because I’m incapable of doing it. Had the question been something like “…gotten hung up a project for two months because you really need to know some inconsequential detail that won’t actually be included in or add anything to the story”, my answer definitely would be might have been different.

… changed my protagonists’ name halfway through a draft.

Once in a blue moon. I usually develop the name around the character, deciding all the ins and outs of their personality before I slap a label on it. By that time, I’m pretty confident it’s the right choice, but every so often I get the yens to switch it up a little.

… written a story in a month or less.

Yes. It was not good. We do not talk about it.

… fallen asleep while writing.

Nope. The desperation of needing to finish a project before I die is enough to keep me awake.

… corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online.

In my head? Constantly. Out loud? Never. My face is punchable enough without me helping it along any.

… yelled at myself in all caps in the middle of my novel.

Not in my actual stories. Usually it’s in my notes, to draw my eye to some tidbit of info I want Future Me to see when skimming through. (On another note–people do this? Why?)

… used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Yes, actually, and unbelievably it worked. I’m afraid that if I try this too often the magic will be gone, so I reserve it for the extreme situations when somebody wants me to do something and I’m. . .y’know. . .writing.

… killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

In my defense, some people are just asking for it.

… used pop culture references in a story.

If you mean lacing Beatles easter eggs throughout wherever humanly possible, then yes.

… written between the hours of one AM and six AM.

Being a night owl, these are my normal operating hours. Some of my best stuff is written at 3 AM, followed closely and intimately by my worst stuff.

… drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

I would drink an entire pot of coffee even if I wasn’t writing. As it is, sometimes you need that extra boost of caffeine to keep your inspiration going when it wants to give out. And then sometimes you drink so much it jettisons your consciousness into the astral realm.

… written down dreams to use in potential novels.

The only dream I’ve had that I actually recall was a two-parter in which Steve McGarrett of Hawaii Five-O (the good one, not the remake) kidnapped Paul McCartney from the Hollywood Bowl. I don’t remember why. It was magnificent.

… published an unedited story on the internet/blog/Wattpad.

Never. Never ever ever. My stories are my children. Do you send your children filthy and unprepared into the world, with mismatching socks and no shoes? This of course raises the moral question of wantonly abandoning said stories halfway through, what with them being my children and all, but nobody’s perfect. We can play Plato’s Republic later.

… procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

I was in the unique situation of being homeschooled, so my writing could be classified as English and therefore homework. Eventually I was forced to switch to studying other subjects, because no matter how much Math and Science I had my characters doing it didn’t count as anything but English. Alas.

… typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Always. Sometimes I type or handwrite so long things hurt in my arms I didn’t know I had. Who put all those tendons in there to get sore anyway?

… spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

You’d think this one would be a yes, because I’m constantly eating or guzzling something by electronics, but I have some sort of dumb luck that just makes me spill things around them rather than on them. The cat is another story.

… forgotten to save my work/draft.

This is one thing I’ve never experienced, as I’m paranoid about it and trained myself to always save every few minutes; plus Pages automatically saves before quitting. Once, though, the entire computer crapped out and I lost every last syllable of the work I had on there. So that was fun.

… finished a novel.

Yes! And I even went back through and kind of edited it! And I even fleshed out a sorta-full sequel! And. . .and. . .and now what?

… laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I’m sorry?

… cried while writing a scene.

I’ve been tempted, but not usually from the emotion of the scene itself. It’s more from the hopeless mess I have created that now I have to deal with. Every so often while editing/rereading, though, I do get that telltale ache in my chest that threatens tears, so I know I’ve hit literary gold with my current project.

… created maps of my fictional worlds.

I’ll admit I was never handy with making maps. That I left to my brother, whose idea of a good time is drawing the entirety of Africa’s coast freehand from memory. Did you know Africa has a lot of coast? You do now. As for my characters, they’re just going to have to stumble their way through the plot without a map to guide them. If I had to suffer blindly while writing it, they have to suffer blindly while living it.

… researched something shady for a novel.

Oh, gracious. Shady and weird. Serial killers, body disposal, how to snap someone’s neck, obscure medieval and modern weapons, sucking chest wounds, and not necessarily in that order. All in the name of science and literature, I assure you. My FBI agent is probably justifiably terrified.

Well, that’s that. If you’ve made it this far, then you’ve made it this far. I’m still new on the blogging block, so if you’ve read this, you’re as tagged as tagged can be. Good luck, fair stranger. Hope you had as much fun as I did.

~TheTexasLass

8 thoughts on “Never Have I Ever

    1. There is a certain thrill to it! I do love being able to write in margins and double-back on paragraphs, leaving notes wherever I need one. On the computer I have to skip back and forth from document to document, looking for that one tidbit I wrote down days ago and really need, but now can’t find. Ah, well. Such is life. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree wholeheartedly about editing a story before turning it out on an unsuspecting world. I don’t drink much coffee, though, and 3 a.m. will usually find me with my head on a pillow. My recent encounters with the F.B.I. attest to my own research into murderous topics, like what’s the killing power of a 20 mm cannon? I like writing in longhand, but keyboards are better. My fantasy-oriented stories all had maps, useful as my heroes traveled around a lot. I had rivers, trees and mountains, towns and roads. All set in a world that never was and couldn’t be.

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    1. My bad coffee habits were learned from my dad’s side of the family; at this point it’s a whole food group unto itself. Maps were always my weak spot, so I usually deposit my fantasy characters in the middle of nowhere and give vague allusions to nearby cities and landmarks–a town north-ish, a river sort of west–that they never visit. It’s purely to ground the reader and give me some watery world-crafting credibility. Let me know if you’ve got any techniques for calming your FBI agent down after a long night of researching the most vulnerable points of the human body!

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      1. I start out that way, too, with vague towns and such, but then when I’ve got to take the hero back the other way, which way do I go? So I hunt for where a town or river was in the story and then jot it down on a piece of paper. Voila! I have a map. My FBI agent is afraid I’ll use my research on him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I should try that next time I have a fantasy story in the works and my characters are lost in Podunk, Nowhere. I’ll google how to repel FBI agents. That ought to do it.

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  2. “The only dream I’ve had that I actually recall was a two-parter in which Steve McGarrett of Hawaii Five-O (the good one, not the remake) kidnapped Paul McCartney from the Hollywood Bowl.”
    Aw man, now I’m curios! I have so many questions!
    But seriously, you have my upmost respect for writing a whole novel BY HAND! That’s insane to me because my hand hurts after about three pages and I decide my handwriting looks bad, and set it down to go retype what I’ve just written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be entirely honest, I have questions too. What prompted such madness? I don’t remember the details off the top of my head, but it was so bizarre and vivid at the time I’m sure I wrote it down. If I find it, I’ll be sure to fill you in!
      I think my secret is switching hands. I start with my right and go to my left when I get tired. That doesn’t help my handwriting, though! It’s sloppy no matter which hand I use. Maybe it would be neater if I used my feet.

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