WRITING TAG: Never Have I Ever

OH HECK YEAH I FOUND A WRITING TAG! THIS IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN! I saw this tag on one of those recommended blogs on my Reader, and my sleuthing tells me it was originally created by The Long Voyage.

lollllllll “sleuthing” she says like it’s not right there in the graphic

also??? why don’t more tags do this kind of graphic with the creator right on it? that’s brilliant!

ANYWAY

I write books! I think this is well established by now, but I talk about reading books a lot, so just in case you didn’t know, now you do! None of them are published yet, but two of my short stories are published here, AND you can read a crap ton of other short stories here.

Thus, a writing tag? Count me the heck in!

. . . started a novel that I did not finish.

Actually, no? I’m not counting the, like, two stories that I only wrote one chapter for because I was trying to decide which direction I wanted to go in, so WAIT. Nah, yeah, I’ve totally done this.

Not a first novel, though. I started the second book in the Pen boys series, but that was before I had any idea

a) how long the series was
b) any clue what the full arc of the series was
c) what the hell I was doing

The Pen boys got me out of a rut, and for that, I’m grateful to them, but holy moly do they need a lot of work, and I’m so glad that I abandoned that second book.

. . . written a story completely by hand.

Y’all, not recently, that’s a lot of work. Definitely when I was in elementary & middle school and my stories were, like, twenty pages total when typed, but even then, that got old pretty fast.

. . . changed tenses midway through a story.

AHAHAHAHA YUP BUT NOT ON PURPOSE

This is only with fanfiction, though. All of my original fiction is past tense & third person no matter what, but I usually write fanfiction in present tense & third person, so sometimes when I was switching back to it, I’d get super confused and realize I’d been writing in multiple different tenses for the last several pages. That was always fun to correct.

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. . . not researched anything before starting a story.

I feel so seen? That was the first draft of Saintsverse through and through. I just dove headfirst into it and hoped for the best. Obviously, that meant I had a lot of work to do about halfway into the sequel and realizing there were a lot of inconsistencies.

However, Saintsverse doesn’t exist on our planet with our history, so it was easier to get away with. I could never do that with vampire detective, which not only draws on history, but depends on it, so I’ve done a lot of research on where & when my vampires were turned, and what was going on at the time.

. . . changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Alex: “Um? Are there two cats in this? Or three? I’m confused.”

Look, I needed a quick name just so I could keep writing, so I named a cat Shadow one time, but Saintsverse is not only a very dark book, aesthetically & literally, but sometimes shadows actually come to life, so it felt like I couldn’t name the cat Shadow, so I changed her name to something legit that I can’t remember, but that I may have recycled for a human character later, got fed up halfway through calling her that human name, and swapped her to something else that wasn’t Shadow before finally giving up and saying I didn’t care and calling her Shadow at the end. All within one book.

That, and one of the main characters in Saints at sea 2 had a name change a few times–Gordon to August to Qadir, which it’s staying at. Usually, I’ve got the names down before I start, though.

Mason

. . . written a story in a month or less.

Once. Mason’s first draft was written in 18 days. It was the first novel I wrote after giving up on a story I’d been writing for 12 years, and it just poured out of me.

. . . fallen asleep while writing.

What? Is this a thing? Dude, I’m so invested in what’s going on, writing is practically cardio for me.

. . . corrected someone’s grammar irl / online.

I’ve never been that person, and it’s so unnecessary to be that person. I don’t care how you talk, in person or online. I’m just happy to chat. The only place correcting grammar belongs is when you’re editing something for someone.

. . . yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

In many different forms! Sometimes I just yell verbally, sometimes I write in all caps of like WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING MARY and then keep writing, sometimes I text Alex like WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING ALEX, sometimes I just keysmash. Writing is hard.

. . . used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Nah, bro. If I say I’m writing, I’m actually writing. It’s never an excuse.

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

I’M SORRY JEN OKAY I’M THE WORST HIGH SCHOOL WAS A ROUGH TIME

Yes, but if it helps, that character no longer exists and was no longer based on my friend when she was killed.

I don’t generally base characters on real life people anymore. I used to all the time, and my friends often asked for characters, but that becomes messy pretty quickly, so now I just steal from them a little. Is Erin Margot from sister witches? No, but Margot has some of her attributes. Does Bethany have a character in sister witches? Yes, but she a) has no lines & b) is only named as part of a group. I’ll sneak bits and pieces of my friends in, but never whole persons anymore.

. . . used pop culture references in a story.

Only always.

Okay, mostly always.

Saintsverse is written in not our universe, so I can’t in that, but sister witches & Pen boys has plenty of them, and I’m sure Mason & vamp detective will, as well. They’re not ridiculous, and they always make sense in the context, but it’s fun to give a little shout out to my faves.

. . . written between the hours of 1am and 6am.

Not anymore, but I definitely did in my college years. Many fanfictions were written in the wee hours of night, and I’m sure I did a mad dash to the end on a few drafts of novels like that, as well. The only time I’m up past midnight these days, though, is if the Netflix binge is in full effect, which is very rare, even then.

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. . . drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

Not coffee, but tea. It’s always my go-to when writing, and if I’m at Jaho in Salem, where I’ve written a heck ton of sister witches, I can down about one chai latte per 1500 words, which I usually do twice, and their large is large. I’ve also definitely had more than one cup while writing at home, and would totally just power drink all day if I could at work.

. . . written down dreams to use in potential novels.

I don’t have dreams? I recognize that I probably do and just can’t remember them, but I really honestly don’t have dreams that I can recall even the slightest bit. Like, not at all.

wait

this is a lie

hold on

this is kind of a lie

So, I read Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom in the fall of 2017, and then I watched a lot of Peaky Blinders on Netflix, so I went to sleep on a Sunday and woke up on a Monday with the name Landon Ash in my head. I didn’t exactly dream him up, but he did come into existence overnight? The books & show influence Saintsverse pretty heavily, and the whole universe came together over a wild week of intense creating, but yeah, I’m not counting this as a dream that turned into a novel. I really don’t dream. I sleep like the dead, and then I go kickass all day, and somewhere in between, I write.

Honestly, I do my best writing while I’m driving. That’s where all the story ideas happen.

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

I already linked it, but I’m linking it again! My short story tag is full of short stories that I wrote for Thursday Thousand, a project that I started last year. Also, because I’m feeling crazy lately, here’s my AO3 link. (This isn’t really that crazy, you can get this in my About Me.)

. . . procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

Yes. 100%. Procrastinated all things because I wanted to write, but procrastinate is probably a bad word for it because it was more actively avoiding it while I wrote.

. . . typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Oh, for sure. When I’m in the thick of either starting or finishing, both times of a novel that have got me glued to my screen, I definitely need to take breaks because my whole arms started to go stiff. This is why I usually intersperse big bursts of writing with long days of reading.

. . . spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

oh my god no please don’t ever this has never and I am praying to all my gods and goddesses that this never happens

. . . forgotten to save my work / draft.

HAHA YUP IT’S THE WORST

My mom believes that if it didn’t save, it wasn’t meant to be, and the rewritten version is probably going to be better, and while she’s usually correct, it’s the worst feeling in the world and it takes so much energy to psyche yourself back into writing it again.

Legolas Greenleaf | The Lord Of The Rings/Katniss Everdeen | The Hunger Games

. . . finished a novel.

Yes! Many times! People always ask me this question, so I’m going to try to figure out the number.

  1. Gosh, I wrote Chronicles of Kings for 12 years, and I think I wrote
  2. three
  3. versions of the first book. Like, entire rewrites.
  4. It was, at different times, a trilogy, a series, a series within a series, who the heck knows, but I definitely wrote at least
  5. three
  6. versions of the second book, as well. That was as far as I ever got with it, though.
  7. I wrote one version of Alex the Destroyer in high school,
  8. and then another full rewrite a couple years ago.
  9. Mason! Though I tried to rewrite it several times, I never went beyond that first draft.
  10. The Pen boys started as 180k, and though I ended up cutting 50k words, I never actually rewrote anything so drastically that it felt like writing another book, so this will remain at one.
  11. I also wrote
  12. two books in the original Saintsverse duology that have both been edited multiple times, but again, not entire rewrites.
  13. There are two books in the Saints at sea duology, but only one and a half have been written.
  14. The first sister witches is done, and I’m almost done with the second one.
  15. JUST KIDDING I LITERALLY FINISHED THE SECOND ONE YESTERDAY!
  16. The bookstore boys was completed last year.

That seems about right?

. . . laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

Who hasn’t, honestly? I’ve killed some characters that I hated and been so excited while doing it. I’ve also

. . . cried while writing a scene.

many, many times. Writing is a huge rollercoaster of emotions, and sometimes it delivers a sucker punch like you wouldn’t believe.

. . . created maps of my fictional worlds.

I wouldn’t normally share this because who knows if this world will ever actually be a thing, but I had to take a mandatory art class in college, and for my final project, I made an eleven-foot (YUP you read that right) tea-stained by hand map on canvas for my high fantasy dragon series, Chronicles of Kings:

It’s pretty badass.

. . . researched something shady for a novel.

If I’m not on some watch list somewhere, then I’m not doing this whole writing thing correctly.

zaginione jezioro

are you ready for something wild

I’m going to tag people

BECAUSE I KNOW PEOPLE WHO WRITE AHHHHHH

Soooo, Margaret, Orangutan Librarian, Caro, Sophie, TAG YOU’RE IT!

Posted by

she/her | yoga teacher | Tibetan Buddhism | part-time witch | full-time author | astronaut in a previous life

18 thoughts on “WRITING TAG: Never Have I Ever

  1. bahahaha i love when you text me randomly in all caps or like the entire screen filled with questions that you usually answer yourself before i get to answer them!!

    Also, I don’t think I’ve shown up in any way in any of your novels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always using the three of you as sounding boards to just be like “OKAY HERE ARE ALL OF MY QUESTIONS WELL YOU DIDN’T ANSWER IN THREE SECONDS SO HERE ARE ALL OF MY ANSWERS.”

      I don’t think so, either!

      Like

  2. Omg a writing tag! 😀 This looks so fun – thanks for tagging me!

    I’ve definitely been there with accidentally changing tense partway through a story. Not a fun thing to edit. And my characters are changing names constantly. That’s so cool that you basically dreamed up a character’s name (and such a great name at that!) and built a world around it. Also, I’m blown away by how many novels you’ve written and also by THAT BEAUTIFUL HAND-DRAWN MAP HOLY COW. That is indeed badass. I’m really looking forward to doing this tag and exposing myself for all my bad writing habits! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! Names are so hard, I wish they would just pop into existence and make sense, ugh.

      I KNOW! I wish I could actually use the map for something. Maybe someday!

      I can’t wait to read yours!

      Like

  3. Hello Mary!
    Thanks for this tag!!! I loved reading your answers. That’s pretty awesome that you’ve made an eleven-foot tea-stained canvas map for your novel. That must have taken a while but looks like it was worth the effort 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad people are still enjoying my tag. I had no idea it would be so popular among the writerly side of the blogosphere😂 Your answers were so much fun to read and I very much enjoyed the post. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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