Am I A Writer?

Tagged myself, off Michelle!

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

Too many little words – "and then", "he realised" "at that moment", that sort of thing. My characters also have a tendency to grin a lot, unless I rein them in. I once made an Excel chart by using the search option in Word and tabulating the results of my overused words – lots of "so" and "the next day" came up.

Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

I haven't had this problem in any books that I've enjoyed. Usually, if a book is badly written, it's not so much a matter of repetition as a certain tendency to wander all over the place.

What's your favourite piece of writing by you?

This is going to sound ridiculous, since I’m most proud of my current novel The Face of A Lion (agent hunting as we speak!) but the stories I always remember are the one I wrote in first grade, about a boy named Aldo, the one I wrote in fourth grade, called The Strange Girl (about a new girl at a school) and a short story/prose poem I wrote about 15 years ago called Eyes of the Sky, about a couple walking down the street... I think I’ve posted that one on the Forum; I’ll try to find the link.

What blog post do you wish you'd written?

I’ll echo Michelle: “Anything funny.” Or something educative and fun, like a Miss Snark or Nathan Bransford post.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?

Oh no, not at all!

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

I hope readers enjoy the stories. I hope they learn something, anything, even if it’s just a word they’ve never seen before. I’m not sure if important is the right word, but the most complete and fully edited novel I’ve got is The Face of A Lion.

Name three favourite words

These change all the time. Right now I’m into bizarre, blatherskite, wariangle and moose. That’s four, I know.

...And three words you're not so keen on

Suck, Abitibi-Temiscamingue and... well, there are others but I seem to have thankfully blocked them out of my brain

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
Oh my. What brilliant writer isn’t an inspiration? But I love the clarity and density of writers like Dickens, Tolkien, Sayers, etc.

What's your writing ambition?

To publish! And then to be able to start thinking beyond that, once I do...

Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about.

Glad to!
See this post for a list of YA authors from the Forum
Go read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and An Echo in the Bone, and Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady and My Lord and Spymaster, if you haven’t already done so
Check out Silent Women by Ingrid Berzins Leuzy
Follow the links on the right to other writers’ blogs, to see what they’re up to
Travelling to London? Check out Marsha Moore’s 24 Hours London
And if you’re an agent, let me know, and I’ll send you the first 10 pages of The Face of A Lion!

Do the tagging thing.

Anyone who’s reading, you’re it!

Further rules from Michelle: If you have time to do this meme, then please link to my original [and here], then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a "published" or "successful" writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging [writing!] has brought them and how it has been useful to others.


Thanks for playing along :) Always fun to read someone else's answers.

Also, I have no idea what 'blatherskite' or 'wariangle' means. But moose. Now, there's a great word. Moose.
Marsha said…
Yay! Thanks for plugging me, Deniz! :) And oh, how I recall the agony of trying to spell Abitibi-Témiscamingue... wait a sec, did I spell that right?
Deniz Bevan said…
I like blatherskite cos it's fun to say - and Scots too (OED: "[f. BLETHER v. + SKATE in Sc. used contemptuously. The Scotch song Maggie Lauder, in which this word occurs, was a favourite ditty in the American Camp during the War of Independence (J. Grant Wilson, Poets and Poetry of Scotl. I. 82); from this, bletherskate or, as more commonly used, blatherskite, became a familiar colloquialism in U.S.] a. A noisy talkative fellow; a talker of blatant nonsense. Hence also a vbl. n. blatherskiting; bletherumskite (Ir. dial.) = BLETHER n."
and wariangle cos that was one of the words Tolkien defined for the OED: "[? OE. wearincel shrike (Sweet: authority not known). Cf. OHG. (MHG.) warchengil, wargengel, wargingel, etc. ‘cruricula’, etc. (Steinmeyer-Sievers, Diefenbach), G. wargengel, warkengel (with very many local variants due to different etymologizing alterations; as würgengel, quasi ‘destroying angel’). Cf. also MLG. worgel, OHG. (MHG.) wargil, warigel, wergil, worgel (Bavarian dial. wörgl shrike, Salzburg wörgel greenfinch). All these forms appear to be diminutives of OTeut. *waro-z murderer: see WARY n.
The OE. word, if genuine, perh. preserves most nearly the original form. For the suffix compare OE. húsincel, túnincel, éowincel, etc. (all without umlaut). Cf. OHG. -inklî(n. It remains, however, very remarkable that in G. or in later E. there is no trace of -k forms with the single exception of warwinckle in quot. 1618. As there is no evidence of the word later until Chaucer, the ME. and later forms are perhaps in part due to, or influenced by, some continental form. The prevalent form of the ending, -angle, -ingle, is perh. partly due to association with HANG v. (owing to the habits of the shrike). In early times the first element would assist this etymology: cf. OE. weartréo, WARYTRE gallows. Such an association was apparently present in early G.: cf. such forms as wurgelhâch, wurgelhâhe, warchengil, warkengel, etc.]

1. A name formerly given to the Shrike or Butcher-bird, either the (Great or European) Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) or the smaller red-backed Shrike (L. collurio). See SHRIKE n.2
Apart from the doubtful OE. form and two obscure passages in ME. the evidence for the existence of the word is almost solely drawn from dictionaries, glossaries, and dialect collections of doubtful value, some of which perh. merely echo quot. 1598.

c1386 CHAUCER Friar's T. 110 This Somonour, that was as ful of Iangles, As ful of venym been thise waryangles. 1598 SPEGHT Chaucer's Wks. Annot. Bbbbv, Warriangles Be a kind of birdes full of noyse and very rauenous, preying vpon others, which when they haue taken, they vse to hang vpon a thorne or pricke, & teare them in pieces and deuoure them. And the common opinion is, that the thorne wherupon they thus fasten them and eate them, is afterward poysonsome. In Staffordshire and Shropshire the name is common. 1611 COTGR., Ancrouëlle, a Shrike, Nin~murder, Wariangle. 1618 LATHAM 2nd Bk. Falconrie 144 The Warwinckle which is a pyed bird, and vses most in pastur-ground, or other champane places whereas growes great and tall bushes. 1674 RAY Collect., Eng. Birds 83 The great Butcher-bird called in the Peak of Derbyshire Wirrangle, Lanius cinereus major. 1678 Willughby's Ornith. II. xi. 87 This Bird in the North of England is called a Wierangle, a name, it seems, common to us with the Germans, who (as Gesner witnesseth) about Strasburgh, Franckfort, and elsewhere, call it Werkengel or Warkangel. 1686 PLOT Staffordsh. 229 The Butcher-bird or Wierangel, here called the Shriek or French-Pye. 1885 SWAINSON Prov. Names Birds 47 Red-backed shrike, Butcher bird, Murdering bird, Ninekiller, Weirangle or Wariangle (Yorkshire).
2. Used as a term of contemptuous abuse. rare1.

a1400-50 Wars Alex. 1706 A wirlyng, a wayryngle [Dubl. MS. warlow], a wawil-eid shrewe."