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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

30 July 2008

A Meme for writers: a look at myself

This meme showed up on Charles Gramlich’s Razored Zen blog, and he found it on Writtenwyrdd’s blog. As Charles did, I won’t tag anybody, but I invite you to do the meme if you think it would be fun.

What is your genre(s)? In nonfiction, I write primarily medical information for patients, but sometimes I write for doctors and scientists. I’ve covered the gamut—magazines, newsletters, medical tabloids, scientific journals, online news reports, book chapters, and books. In fiction, I write speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) and romance short stories and books.

How many books are you working on now? My agent is marketing one book, and I am writing two more. Although some people can’t work on more than one book at once, I can, probably because writing on multiple topics simultaneously is a requirement for freelance writers.

Are you a linear or a chunk writer? Primarily a linear writer, although if I get excited about an upcoming scene, I may jump ahead and write it.

What POV are you partial to? I usually use third person. I strive for deep POV, but often fail.

What tense do you use? Past tense.

What theme keeps cropping up in your books? Loss and/or culture clash have turned up in every story and book I’ve written. I purposely write stories and books that focus on conflict between people of different religions, sexes, social classes, cultures, or species. Loss worms its way into my writing on its own.

How many days a week do you write? I try to work on nonfiction on Mondays and Tuesdays and on fiction on Wednesdays and Fridays and play catch-up on Thursdays. But life usually messes up that ideal schedule. Even in the weeks when I can stick to it, I don’t actually put fingers to keyboard all those days. I may research, edit, or plan instead.

What time of day do you get your best writing done? I’m least tired and most focused early in the morning before the emergencies and other interruptions start. I tend to write fastest late in the afternoon as I try to wrap things up before supper.

Who are your mentors? A friend who writes historical romance as Lynna Banning was my first mentor, and she still helps me today. She encouraged me to start writing and to join the Romance Writers of America (RWA), even though I wanted to write fantasy. I count the members of the Southern Louisiana and Orange County RWA chapters and everyone whose presentation I’ve attended at the national RWA meetings among my mentors. My critique group members—Laurie BolaƱos, Rosalind Green, Margaret Nichols, and Farrah Rochon—have taught me much as well.

Who are your favorite authors to read? fantasy: Guy Gavriel Kay, Barbara Hambly, Ursula LeGuin, and Gene Wolfe; mystery: Barbara Hambly (again), Laura Joh Rowland, Sharan Newman, Candace Robb, and Kate Sedley; romance: all my RWA friends, of course!

I’m in San Francisco this week at the national RWA conference, and this blog posted itself through the miracle of Blogger’s post scheduling feature. I’ll respond to your comments next week after I get home. See you then!


Charles Gramlich said...

I enjoyed this. A good meme for writers, I think. I've toyed with the thought of freelancing but I too much like to know where my next meal is coming from.

I admire the fact that you can work on more than one major project at a time. I've tried but it's just so difficult for me.

Travis Erwin said...

Interesting to read how you write. I'm going to do this one at some point.

Steve Malley said...

Neat insight! I may do this one at some point, though I do have a few more topics in mind...

Lana Gramlich said...

Cool! Hope you're enjoying the conference!

Bernita said...

G.G Kay is one of my mostest favouritest too.

Shauna Roberts said...

CHARLES, I've really enjoyed freelancing because I'm not the sort who takes orders easily. But I doubt I would have made the decision to do so if I were the primary wage earner.

TRAVIS and STEVE, I look forward to your posts. I'm always interested in how other people organize their writing and writing day.

LANA, thanks! I had a great time at the conference and will write about it when I can get my thoughts in order.

BERNITA, I wouldn't have guessed from your posts on books you've read. Did you read and like Ysabel? It was very different from his other works. I liked it, but not as much as his other books.

Michele said...

Very interesting, Shauna. Your ability to set aside certain days to work on fiction or nonfiction is quite disciplined--even if it doesn't always work out as you've planned. When I can, I set a daily schedule (page count or chapter) by writing it down on my iCalendar ... that way I feel the responsibility to finish the job.

Good post.