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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

A Novel Idea: Behind the Scenes

It's A Novel Idea time again! This week the blog meme is doing something really fun by asking more questions about writing styles and the actual writing process. In addition to getting to know your characters and novel, A Novel Idea is also dedicated to helping others, and yourself, get to know you as a writer. Ashley will be providing writing style-related questions once a month. I'm excited to answer these!

I've decided to title at least this post "Behind the Scenes" because I think it will provide good insight on the behind-the-scenes of myself and my writing!

So without further ado:

A Novel Idea

What are 3 books you’ve read more than 3 times? Is there a reason you keep re-reading them? What do you think it is about these books that keeps bringing you back? 
(All of these are series instead of just one book. I do apologize.)

The Chronicles of Narnia is one, definitely. I've been a huge Narnia fan ever since I was young. The magic of returning to Narnia is one I hold on to tightly, and I love everything the book has taught me about Aslan and faith. It's one that's inspired me a lot.

I've read The Hollywood Nobody series by Lisa Samson several, several times--countless times. The quirky, funny writing style won me over. So did Scotty. I adore her. She's one of my favorite, favorite characters ever. Even though the series is set in present day, it sweeps me away to another world every time. It's magical. I love it, and it's what I aspire to when writing my contemporary novels. (This book also inspired me to read The Great Gatsby, which is one of my favorite books.)

Another book series I've read a million times is the Miss Match series by Erynn Mangum. I've read these backwards and forwards, so many times. While I haven't read them as much in recent years, I loved these with a passion when I was younger. The wit was what got me. The humor is spot on--the books made me laugh out loud so many times. That's inspired me to make my own writing sarcastic, witty, and funny.

What do you do when you get an idea for a plot, scene, etc, when you are at a place you can’t sit down to write it? 
I daydream about it, and try to jot down the idea so that I'll remember it later. Sometimes, if I'm in bed, I'll get up and feverishly scribble notes on my notebook or my iPod. And then I try to get to a place where I can write it as soon as possible. ;)

What do you think is your strongest suit as a writer? Do you make your characters believable, your plot interesting? 
I feel I may have some trouble with keeping myself and my readers interested in plots, but what does carry my stories through--and keeps me returning to them--is my characters. They've become more and more real to me the more I write them. I've been told a couple different times, even by some of you dear blog readers (thank you so much, it really means the world to me), that my characters seem to be real people. I don't know how I managed to make them so real, but what I do know is that I just end up treating them like they are real. Writing, now, feels less like coming up with a story, and instead feels more like discovering a story as it unfolds.

I'm not immensely confident in my prose or descriptions, yet, though those are improving and I do appreciate the rare bits of beauty I manage to come up with. But one thing I do love is my banter, and my characters' witty comebacks. Humor in writing is something very important to me, and that's one of my strengths that I value and try to hone. (Hone is such a weird word, by the way.)

What genre of writing do you prefer to write? What are your goals as a writer? Do you want to publish, or do you just do it for fun?
I write a lot of things all over the board. Contemporary and speculative fiction are the genres I tend to stick to. Overarching plot themes do run throughout most if not all my novels, which would be themes of adventure and beauty. My characters are often searching or experiencing Something bigger than themselves, whether that's love, faith, or just trying to stay alive.

My goal for the near future is to just get my writing out there, whatever form it comes in. I'm trying to submit articles to more places and grow in my writing and as a person. The eventual goal is to get published. It's been a dream of mine ever since I was younger. Right now, I'm working on actually finishing novels so I can polish them up and start querying.

One thing I hope I never lose, though, is writing for fun. It's kind of a double-edged sword. I do want to get published, but I also write because it's fun and I can't stop. I hope it never stops being an enjoyable experience for me, and keeping it fun is a priority of mine. While publishing is a definite goal, if it takes the fun out of writing, it won't be worth it.

 (I always was so very writely.)

// Check out A Novel Idea at Ashley Aspires! //

all photos in this post, with the exception of the A Novel Idea graphic, were taken and are copyrighted by me.


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