Never Have I Ever: Writing Edition

Hey there, friendos and dears.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a writing tag on this blog. I’ve done a couple over on my Tumblr, but nothing recently (please, tag me in things. I love tags! I’ll do them! We’ll have a grand old time!). So, when I saw that Nicole Evans over at Thoughts Stained with Ink participated in a writing themed tag based around “never have I ever”, the classic party game for kids and adults alike, I was intrigued. I always win at “Never have I Ever”, because I have a very quiet & sheltered life and everything exciting in my life happens to my characters, so when I saw the writing version, I thought to myself: Sign. Me. Up. At the end of her post, she invited anyone who wanted to participate to do so, and thus here we are, my friends.

I also borrowed her idea of using GIFs, because I loved it. It was beautiful. Except instead of Lord of the Rings…I’m using Drag Race gifs, because I didn’t get to go to Pride this year and I’ve been compensating by re-watching all of Drag Race. Even Season 7.

This tag was originally started by the good folks over at The Long Voyage. Even though I wasn’t (directly) tagged, thanks for the fun questions!

Now, let’s get this party started!

Never Have I Ever…

…started a novel that I didn’t finish.

Yes, many times. Mostly when I was a kid/young teenager, and I usually won’t even start a novel until I know my concept is solid and it’s plotted out, giving me lots of time to realize that a story isn’t either a) working or b) I’m not the right person to write this. However…sometimes, a story just isn’t working. I don’t think you should shame someone for realizing that before they finish the book—if they figure it out before they’re 100 pages in, that tells me they’re a pretty smart cookie!

…written a story completely by hand.

Again, yes, many times. I didn’t have regular access to a computer until I was…ten or eleven, and I was writing looooong before then! I used to write (and draw) my stories all the time. I don’t do it now, because my cursive is shit and my printing is slow and I get frustrated with myself for not being able to write as fast as I think. I still know people who do their first drafts by hand. That’s dedication I just don’t have.

…changed tenses midway through a story.

Oh yeah. On my fanfiction, mostly, where I’m a bit more forgiving with myself. I usually fix it in my editing, but sometimes I change tenses midway through a sentence. Sorry bout it.

…not researched anything before starting a story.

For short stories and fanfiction, usually not. Anything longer than maybe 10 pages, though…it’s researched. It’s over-researched. I could write an essay on the things I’ve learned, but I doubt anyone else cares about turn of the centuries bed clothes.

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

Not protagonist’s, but the antagonist’s. I had too many “A” names so I had to change it. And then I hated what I changed it to so I had to change it again. For whatever reason, I can’t start a story before I know what the main character’s name is, short or novel-length.

…written a story in a month or less.

Short stories, yes. Novels, never. I wish. I’m still working on my NaNo project.

…fallen asleep while writing


…corrected someone’s grammar IRL/online?

Constantly. I often keep it to myself unless I know them well, unless they’re a famous person and then I go full HAM

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

Shit, I did this yesterday. I’d love to meet someone who hasn’t. I bet they’re really stable and dependable.

…used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Yes, with varying results. It works for my friends, who are also creatives, and sometimes for my partner. It doesn’t work for my cat, my parents (who would barge into my room despite the clear sign on the door stating that I was in the process of writing and then proceed to ignore me ignoring them and talk about nothing for a solid five minutes until they noticed that I wasn’t listening) and my partner, who still expects me to cook dinner when I’m in the middle of a scene. Come on, hubs. Get with it.

…killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.

I’m not answering this question without a lawyer present.

…used pop culture references in a story.

Yep. Not too many, because I’ve seen so many books that over-use them (*coughReadyPlayerOnecough*) and don’t want to fall into that trap, but I do enjoy them. It’s a little wink wink nudge nudge at my audience, and I think it’s cute.

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

That’s when I do most of my writing. Night Owl alert!

…drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

I hate coffee, so no. I have done that with tea.

…written down dreams to use in potential novels.

YES. Two of my three current WIP novels are based on dreams. My unconscious mind is a creative genius.

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

Yes. *hides head in shame* But in my defence, I was 12. I didn’t edit anything when I was 12.

…procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

Don’t tell my professors, but….yes. I have done that. Not often, because I take my schoolwork very seriously, but I have been known to do that.

…typed so long that my wrists hurt.

My wrists hurt right now. I’m so used to the pain that they have to be numb before I stop writing if I’m on a roll.

…spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

Thankfully, not yet. It’s inevitable, but not yet.

…forgotten to save my work/draft

*Sigh* Yes, I have done this. Not recently, because the last time was devastating, but I have done that a few times.

…finished a novel.

I have! I have finished a couple, actually, in recent years (ie: after turning 20). Of course, they’re not finished, because re-writes, but draft one is done.

…laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

I do that at least once a week. My husband usually turns to me, goes “what did you do this time”, listens politely, and then goes back to gaming.

…cried while writing a scene.

Yes. I get very attached to my characters, and I do very, very bad things to them. But, I figure that if I’m crying while writing the scene, the readers will be emotional while they read it. In theory. Hopefully.

…created maps of my fictional worlds.

I have! They’re not very good, and I’ve only just found software that I like to use for it (thanks D & D playing husband) but I do have them.

…researched something shady for a novel.

Again, I’m not answering that question without a lawyer present. I definitely don’t know how to get rid of dead bodies. Nope. Not at all.

And that’s that, folks! I hope you enjoyed this little journey with me. Like Nicole, I now turn it over to you. I’m no good at tagging, but if you want to do it, please comment below! I would love to see your “never have I evers”.

Until next time,

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Elka Scott writes short and novel-length fiction as well as poetry. They studied creative writing and psychology at university and are currently working to become a creative writing therapist. Elka lives in Saskatchewan and recently received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to write their first graphic novel.

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