Thanks, Cal, for this tag! I've had a terrible day, and this has really cheered me up (and saved you lot from the most depressing alternative post). Here we go...
What's the last thing you wrote?
Not including blogging, chapter 1 of novel 2.
Was it any good?
In first-draft mode? Probably not.
What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
A short story about me looking after my Grandma's sweetshop, and a nasty customer whom I got the better of. I was about eight.
Only when I'm depressed.
Oh, yes (see above).
Favourite genre of writing?
I don't know yet; I haven't tried many styles. I guess I like best what I'm working on at any one time. Currently women's fiction.
Most fun character you ever created?
He is yet to come - a character from novel 2. I giggle just to think about him.
Most annoying character you ever created?
My baddie from novel 2 is pretty irritating, but I wrote a short story featuring a woman so snobbish that I just wanted to slap her.
Best plot you ever created?
I'm sorry, but if I told you this, I would have to kill you.
Coolest plot twist you ever created?
How often do you get writer's block?
Every couple months, and it usually lasts a couple of weeks. I hate it.
Write fan fiction?
Er...What's fan fiction?
Do you type or write by hand?
Type, except middle-of-the-night notes written on tissues/margins of magazines/the back of my hand.
Do you save everything you write?
Yes. I am an obsessive hoarder, and my writing is no exception. I get attached to it, especially the duff stuff that no one else likes. I feel sorry for it, you see...
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
I've never actually ever abandoned anything (see above).
What's your favourite thing that you've written?
My first serious short story, about a young English woman, and her infatuation with a French actor. I still laugh when I read it. I've never written anything as funny or as poignant since.
What's everyone else's favourite story that you've written?
I don't know for sure, but a funny Christmas story I wrote this year got good feedback.
Do you ever show people your work?
My pal, Jane, my Dad, and himself see everything I write. No one else!
Did you ever write a novel?
Yup. I started it in 1986, and had another go in 1996. In 2006 I completely rewrote it. None of the original 20,000 words now exists; but like the woodman's axe, I tend to think of it as the same story.
Ever written romance or teen angsty drama?
Well, I guess novel 1 started out that way, (because I was an angsty teen at the time), but it has morphed into something else. Chick noir, I think it's called.
What's your favourite setting for your characters?
Islay, and island in the inner Hebrides. A beautiful place.
[If you're still with me, hi!]
How many writing projects are you working on right now?
I working on revising novel 1 (for the nth time), and have made a serious start on novel 2.
Do you want to write for a living?
Make a living out of something I can't help but do anyway? Ermmm....[thinks], I guess so.
Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Ever written something in script or play format?
No, but I'm very keen to have a go at this. My first short story (mentioned above) would make a perfect Afternoon Play (and a big "Hello!" to any BBC talent scouts who are visiting today).
What are your five favourite words?
Um, if you take my word frequency count then: the, a, to, and, I.
Do you ever write based on yourself?
I'm sure all my characters have a bit of me in them (the nice ones anyway).
What character have you created that most resembles yourself?
The heroine of novel one started out (in the 1986 version) as me. She no longer resembles me at all, sadly (she's rich and famous, and I'm not).
Where do you get ideas for your other characters?
From other people, of course. I have made up a few characters completely, but most of them are based on people I know or have encountered.
Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Yes, I wrote a great poem (i.e. not a depressive one) last year that was based on a dream.
Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
I like happy endings best, but I try to write the end that best fits the story. There's nothing jags more than an inappropriate ending.
Have you ever written based on an artwork you've seen?
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes. I'm an obsessive dotter of 'i's and crosser of 't's, even as I go along. I detest bad grammar, spelling and punctuation (especially when it's my own). Lynne Truss is worshipped in this house.
Ever write something entirely in chatspeak? (How r u?)
No, but I have written a short story that features it. That was quite fun to work on.
Entirely in L337?
/\/07 ¥37 (ha ha ha!)
Was that question completely appalling and un-writer like?
Does music help you write?
It's essential. I can't write without music, preferably in headphones.
Quote something you've written. The first thing to pop into your mind.
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
upon the place beneath.
(Well, it was the first thing to pop in to my mind, although I confess I didn't write it)
I tag JJ, Karen, Maddie, Jen, and Sarah *G*.