September 15, 2013

FAQs as a Writer

Back in June, I had a similar post, and I'm going to recopy some of those questions and answers here.  I have well-meaning, but nosy, family and friends, and I have to answer these questions too often.

Am I in your book?
Maybe.  If a book is ever published and you're in it, you're likely to recognize yourself.

No, seriously, am I in your book?
Uh, once again, maybe.  I don't like revealing if there's a character based off of someone unless it's my choice.  People like to try and influence what their character is like, change scenes, ask for their character to do awesome things, etc.

Could you not kill the character based off of me, if there is one?
Yeah, of course!
Your character's chance of dying just went up 50%.

Can my character have a better death scene/do something awesome/be the main character/be a fairy/etc?
People are obsessed with their characters, seriously!
I have predetermined ideas from when I start writing a book and ideas that come to me as I write.  It's unlikely that I'll ever use unsolicited suggestions.

What's your book about?
This answer really varies, based on who is asking.  Close friends usually get to know the main synopsis.  My mom gets to know some things, too.  But otherwise my standard answer is: "It's about this person who does something interesting and there's a conflict and it's a book."  Like I said in my June post, I've discovered telling people everything about my WIPs (Works In Progress), I lose the ability to finish the book.  And I worry about plagiarism a lot.

What type of books do you write?
Mostly contemporary fiction.  I sometimes write fantasy or futuristic/dystopian.

Why aren't you published/trying to get published?
There's a long process to even trying to get published.  First you have to write the book.  Then you have to edit it and cry.  Then edit and cry some more.  Finally, a writer will deem their book satisfactory enough to query agents.  That can take ages.  You have to find the right agent and have the right book.  Then they'll sub it for you to editors.  And once again, it's a case of the right editor and the right book.  Besides, I'm young.  Although I'd LOVE to be published now, I still have growing to do as a writer.

Can I read your book?
I seriously just let my mom read my book I'm hoping to query soon.  I wrote it ten months ago.  It took me six months to let any of my friends read it.  I choose who and when.

So when's the movie?  Can I be in it?
Well since I haven't been published yet, there's not even a chance of a movie deal.  And if there ever is, I won't control who's cast.

Why don't you write a book like Harry Potter?
You mean a book about a school of wizards, or a book that has the success of Harry Potter?
A) Wizards aren't my thing.
B) I'd love to write a book that is a huge success!  But I'm not the one who determines that.  Ultimately, readers decide if a book is a success.  A publishing house that believes in your book enough to do tons of promotion helps, too.

Bonus: You're majoring in creative writing?  That'll get you nowhere.  Major in engineering or English education and write in your spare time.
Excuse me while I go kill a whole village.
Okay, so now that's done and I've gotten my anger out...
What I want to do with my life: write.  And edit.  My dream job consist of being an author and working in a publishing house, preferably as an editor or copy-editor.  I DON'T WANT TO BE AN ENGINEER (seriously, I'm sure people who know me well laugh at the thought of Emma as an engineer) OR A TEACHER OR ANYTHING ELSE.  Well, except a wife and mom.  But that's different.
As for majoring in creative writing, my parents and I have actually discussed majoring in journalism or general writing or anything along those lines.  But ultimately, the courses required just don't fit my strengths.  I've been accepted to the college I want to go to.  I'll major in creative writing and minor in journalism and digital storytelling, which will provide me with all the courses I'll need.  Please don't tell me that being creative will get me nowhere.  If you do, I'll bet you hate puppies.

All right, Irritable Emma is going to go write an angst-filled novel now, just to get all the frustrations of these questions out.


  1. Love the FAQs. As a fellow writer, I can understand how you feel on quite a few of them. And that last one- ugh. Nearly everyone tells me too that creative writing isn't likely to get me very far on its own. I'm glad to hear you have your plans worked out so well; it's quite inspiring for people like me!

    1. I'm so glad I can help. :) Just make sure, if you major in creative writing, back it up with something more substantial to give you better grounding when you search for jobs. :)

  2. Ugh, I get all of those questions and more. Your witty answers took my mind off MY angst. :)


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