Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Never Have I Ever Writing Tag


So, you may or may not know that I am in the final chapters of revising One Bad Apple, my latest Once Upon a Western book.  It's been a long road, writing this book.  But I feel like it and I have finally made friends, and the last couple weeks of revision of been joyful ones.

Be that as it may... it's nice to take a break from writing once in a while and just chat about the writing process itself.  Which is why I'm so glad Eva tagged me for this over on Coffee, Classics, and Craziness!

1. Link to and thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks, Eva!)
2. Include the graphic somewhere in your post (or make your own!)
3. Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.
4. Tag 3 bloggers.

(Pssssst, DKoren!  You're going to want to turn on GIFs for this post...)

Never Have I Ever… 

…started a novel that I did not finish. 

I can think of three actual novels I did not finish the first drafts of.  And many short stories.  So, yeah, guilty.

…written a story completely by hand. 

In high school, I did about half my story-writing by hand and half on typewriter (!) or computer.  In college, I wrote papers on the computer and stories by hand (the first draft, I mean).  It wasn't until I wrote my first novel after college that I started switching to mostly computer.  But I didn't give up doing at least some of my crafting by hand until I got my first laptop sometime around 2010.

…changed tenses midway through a story. 

I know it's happened.  I can't remember specific instances, but I know I've had to go back and make stuff match before.

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

Totally guilty, though usually for side characters, not protagonists.  But I've changed names for main characters after the first or second draft lots of times, particularly the gunfighter in "The Man on the Buckskin Horse," who was originally Cole Palmer, then became Bret Palmer when I rewrote it, and finally became Luke Palmer when I revised it after winning the Five Magic Spindles contest.

…written a story in a month or less. 

Pssshsshhh.  Of course I have!  I've won Nanowrimo multiple times.  I've written whole first drafts of books in a month or less, much less some measly story.

…fallen asleep while writing. 

Nope.  Never.  No way.

…corrected someone’s grammar irl/online. 

In real life?  Yes.  Cuz hello?  I'm a homeschool mom.  It's in the job description.  Online?  Probably a few times.  But I tend to give most people a pass online.  Or else I'd go crazy correcting people constantly, and who needs that?

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

Oh, all the time.  So guilty.  I was just talking to a friend about how, when I'm writing romantic scenes, I'll put stuff like (GAG ME!) and (YARK!) and (MAKE IT STOP!) all through the first draft.

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

I've based very few fictional characters on people I know in real life.  The only time I've consciously done so was for Dancing and Doughnuts, where the quilting circle ladies are named after the ladies in the book club at my home church.

…used pop culture references in a story. 

Guilty!  I do it all the time.  But it's usually subtle, like re-purposing a favorite line from a movie or book.  In my WWII stories, though, I'm all about popping in references to the pop culture of that day.

…not researched anything before starting a story. 

Not lately.  But in the past, yes.  And I generally do a lot of my researching as I write because I don't always know what it is I'm going to need to learn until I get to that part of the book or story!

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse. 

Probably?  I can't remember a specific instance.  I mean, as in like, "here's why I'm not doing such-and-such on Saturday," yeah.  As a reason to be excused.  Not like I've said, "I can't, cuz I'm writing," and then actually gone to a movie or something.

…written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. 

I worked third shift for four years straight.  I wrote in the middle of the night all the time!  For years!  But lately, no.

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing. 

Technically, yes, because my coffee pot only holds two mugs-worth of coffee, which is about equal to a venti from Starbucks.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene. 


…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

Yes, totally.  They're usually utter rubbish upon further inspection, alas.

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

I have not, I would not, and I loathe the very idea.  Everything gets edited!!!  Even my blog posts!!!

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write. 

Definitely.  I used to pretend my schoolwork was taking a really long time during high school so that I'd have time to be alone at my desk, madly scribbling at some story or other.

…typed so long that my wrists hurt. 

Yeah.  Especially the year that I worked doing data entry 40+ hours a week, and then started writing my first novel in my spare time.  I didn't quite develop carpal tunnel, but I would have if I hadn't gotten a different job.

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing. 

Nope, don't think so.

…forgotten to save my work/draft. 

I would like to say that this has never happened to me, but it totally has.  Ugh.  Not for a lot of years, though!

…finished a novel. 

I've written full first drafts for nine books, varying in length from 40K to 100K.

…cried while writing a scene. 

Yes, I have, and it's all Armie Hammer's fault.  I didn't realize a character I'd based on him was going to have to die until I hit that scene, and then he got shot, and it was really awful.  I cried.  In Starbucks, while writing it.

…created maps of my fictional worlds. 

I almost always end up making some kind of map using Paint or just scribbling it on a piece of paper.  I've got maps for houses so I know where stuff is so I don't say dumb things like mention a door that wasn't there before, and I've got maps of whole towns, or of where one place is in relation to another.  A lot of times, I make maps for action scenes so I can remember who is where at what time, and where they move around to.  I'm very visually oriented, so I find maps really helpful.

…researched something shady for a novel. 

Well, if by 'shady' you mean 'weird or suspicious or dangerous,' yes.  I've done a lot of researching into poisons and 19th-century drugs lately....

I tag…

DKoren at Sidewalk Crossings
Hayden at Leatherbound
Skye at Ink Castles

Play if you want to!


  1. But it's Armie and Henry! That's okay. I could watch them all day. :-D

    Thanks for tagging me. I'll get on that.

    1. Yes, that's why I said turn "ON" your GIFs instead of turn them off? Or... turn off your GIF-blocker, I guess? Cuz I knew you'd want to see them, but also that you have GIFs automatically blocked?

    2. Well, you know, 99% of the time when you read something incorrectly, you will misinterpret it. LOL! (my dad always says that, well the 99% of something, whatever the something is that is currently wrong...) I don't have a GIF-blocker, I just hit shift-esc if they're too annoying to freeze them.

    3. Something like this, yes ;-)

      I will try to remember that. I think you probably said something like, "I hate GIFs and block them when I read blog posts," and Cowboy has a GIF-blocker tool, and my brain said, "She uses the same tool, then," and that made me think you blocked all GIFs automatically. Lol!

    4. Oh! I wasn't even aware there was a GIF-blocker tool! Neat!

      You realize, though, that you've used the perfect GIFs for this post, and now I'm bereft! LOL!

    5. haha! Well, I actually got the tag answered and posted, so it's up now!

  2. Hello! I was reading The Man on the Buckskin Horse just two days ago! (Which I enjoyed.) And oddly, one of my current WIPs has a Cole as the main character...

    1. VT, oh that's so fun! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

    2. I'm not going to do a blog post on it, just because it's not a full-length story (I'll do a blog post on Dancing and Doughnuts though! In a few months.) I was pleasantly surprised that everyone (well, except for the big nasty) ended up heading for a happily ever after! I read the other entries in the collection first over a couple of days because I wanted to save yours 'till last :) and I wasn't disappointed. Did they really use to use morphine for it's anti-septic qualities? I never knew that.

    3. VT, oh, that's totally cool! I like hearing your thoughts here too ;-) I'm a big believer in happy endings!

      It's been 5 years since I worked on that one, so I can't recall all my research anymore, but from what I remember, morphine was was mainly used for pain relief and for sedation, but also kind of treated as a cure-all by some Civil War surgeons. They would sprinkle it on wounds, like WWII-era medics used sulfa powder. They would use it to treat diarrhea. They learned over the course of the war that wounds that were left covered would fester, but wounds that were open to the air and sunlight would often not fester. They used carbolic acid and even just alcohol more for treating infections, but some would use morphine or laudanum on wounds as well.

      I'm blessed to live in Virginia, surrounded by Civil War history, and my library system actually had some first-hand accounts and diaries written by surgeons on both sides, which was absolutely fascinating for research... and also terrifying. They had no idea what they were doing a lot of the time and just... tried stuff to see what worked.

    4. Oh, its, great your library system has those resources available!
      My thought was " not how you use morphine..." and then I wondered if there was any scientific proof it worked as an antiseptic - but it makes sense that there would be lots of experimentation at the time - I seem to remember reading elsewhere that surgical practises vastly improved over the course of the war (since they had a lot of practise!) Its fun learning about historic practises. :)

    5. VT, yes, I'm totally blessed by the area I live in, considering the things I write about and am interested in.

      Yes. That's not how we usually think of morphine as being used, we just think of it as either a painkiller or sedative. But it has a few other properties too, like being somewhat good as an antiseptic. We just have *better* antiseptics now, so we don't use it for that. Which is the beauty and joy of research -- learning how people used things long ago that we wouldn't dream of doing now!

  3. These gifs make me laugh :D I'm definitely doing the tag!! A lot of the answers will be "never," probably, but that's okay . . . the reasons behind the "never" are still interesting.

    1. Katie, yay! They were there to amuse :-)

      I look forward to seeing your answers!

  4. Okay, I wasn't tagged, but these questions were so much fun I had to do them myself. Hope you don't mind! :)

    1. E.S. -- of course I don't mind! I will check out your answers :-)

  5. Thanks for tagging me! Loved reading your answers, I didn't know that Luke's name changed so much before the final version.

    1. You're welcome, Skye :-) Yeah, he changed names with every major rewrite... and he changed actors in my head one and a half times too.

  6. I could watch these gifs aaall daaaayyy XD

    Also, how you write (GAG ME!) or (YUCK!) during scenes in the first draft... haha!! XD That's something I do in my journal when I'm in a silly mood or overtired, haha. But it's SO much more amusing to go back and read it later. XD

    1. Gabby, me tooooooooo :-D There's a YouTube video of these two guys doing this game, if you haven't seen it. Totally adorable.

      Lol! I don't do that in my journals, but fiction writing? Totally. I don't write a lot of love scenes, though my books do tend to have mild romance to them, so when I DO have to write a love scene... it's hard for me to tell what's too much and what's not enough, that first draft. Hee!

  7. "how, when I'm writing romantic scenes, I'll put stuff like (GAG ME!) and (YARK!) and (MAKE IT STOP!) all through the first draft."

    That bad, huh? ;)

    I have yet to read an actual steamy love scene from you, I think, but it cracks me up to think of you grimacing while writing it.

    1. Charity, lol! I said "romantic scenes" not "steamy love scenes." I... have never written a steamy love scene. Or, not one steamier than you'd see in a '60s TV show. But romantic scenes with lots of, well, romanticalness, yes. I've written those. Most notably in my fanfic story "The Better Part of Valor", which is as steamy as I've ever written. And DKoren can attest that the first draft was riddled with asides from me on how gooshy it was.

    2. (And yet, it ended up being one of the stories I'm most proud of.)

  8. "(GAG ME!)" XD I remember that.

    I love these gifs. These gifs are happy-inducing.

    I was excited to see you'd answered this!

    1. These gifs make me think so many happy thoughts :-) These two guys just have the best vibe! I want them to make many, many more movies together.

      :-D Thank you!


Agree or disagree? That is the question...

Comments on old posts are always welcome!

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)