Q: How long have you been writing/drawing for?
A: This may be cliched, but I’ve been very enthusiastic about writing, drawing and creating stories and works of art since I was a child. Creativity and imagination are a key part of my life, and have really saved my life at times.
Q: What advice would you give to a new writer?
A: Keep on going! Improving and creating a novel will take a lot of time, dedication and enthusiasm. Read around and learn about the craft of writing- what draws you to some writers and appals you about others? Don’t be afraid to employ what you’ve learn from other media (e.g.: films, music, art) to writing.
Q:What writing advice would you give? (in general)
One of my pet peeves is when writers give writing advice and act like it’s the universal, unchangeable, unchallengeable truth. Plus a lot of writing advice is simplified. Not all writing advice will be useful to you, and in fact, there may be contradictions between pieces of advice and oversimplifications. Choose which advice you think is most helpful for you and follow that. You’ll also learn as you write.
I don’t say “write everyday” because I know not everybody has time, plus, that would be hypocritical of me. But I do say, write when you can. Writing is a craft and practising is one of the best ways to polish it.
Q: How do you write? What writing software do you recommend?
Scrivener! It’s great for rearranging chapters and snippets of writing (thanks to @Vladimir Nabokov and @MarcelProust for this idea, but Bristol cards and magnetic boards are too expensive and too much hassle). But as long as you’re writing, that’s the most important part.
I have made notes on a hodgepodge of programs: Evernote, Scrivener, OneNote, Google Docs, and in a scarily high number of different journals (many multicoloured!). I do not recommend you follow these clumsy footsteps. Try and keep your notes in one place. Otherwise it will become confusing. Exhibit A: me (another Nabokov reference here).
Q: What are you working on now?
A very long creative series which consists of three novels, two webcomics, some of which I’d love to eventually make into films. It follows a group of characters over the generations and decades, across continents and through births and deaths. The series explores a diverse range of topics (with a diverse cast too!), including: gender, sexuality, death, mental illness, relationships, politics.
Q: How long have you been working on this project?
7+ years now! I often conceptualise it as the series that I navigated my adolescence with (despite having now officially left childhood and having yet to complete it). Yep, it’s a long time. And it started as a dark fantasy. Then it became a faux historical series set in a fictional world based on 19th century Europe, involving political deception, extramarital sex and executions. I only changed the setting to the contemporary world 4 years ago.
And this series will probably take me another 6-10 years to finish. But I’m going to finish it, hold me to it.