Nothing interesting happened, though. 24 days to go, I read a bit, made some sports, the usual stuff.
But I got something for you. No, it’s not a reminder of you can give me photo-wishes (even though you still can. Last chance, I will post them tomorrow!) BUT lots and lots and LOTS of words about writing, for this is like, one of the greatest memes I ever stumbled upon.
What’s the first thing you do, when an idea pops into your mind? – Most likely freeze first, because when an idea is hitting you7r head, for me, it still feels like a BOMB’s just crashing into my skull, everything’s illuminated, and I suddenly just KNOW, everything’s clear as glass – and when that first sensation is gone, I usually write that idea down in one of my notebooks to come back to it later. Usually, my ideas do not have to do with my current project – because I usually know what my current project is about, scene-by-scene – so I use the idea in another novel.
Do you spend much time with plotting? – Well – I’d say yes. When I know I want to start with a novel, I start plotting two weeks before writing the very first sentence. Usually I start with the main plot: start, rising action, climax, falling action, ending, THEN I come back to the characters, and THEN I do the scene-by-scene plotting. Usually it’s about 20-30 pages on my computer, and I usually print them and take a look at them before I start my daily writing session to know what’s on the schedule for today.
What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? – That’s something handwritten and it’s called EDEN. It’s some sort of stupid fantasy story I wrote back when I didn’t have a computer. When I moved, I just, automatically took the papers with me, even though I’d maybe start laughing my ass off as soon as I take a look at the stuff that I once saw with so proud eyes.
Do you save everything you write? – YES, definitely, and the reason’s quite simple: One can only see progress and GETTING BETTER when one has stuff to compare to, stuff one wrote by him or herself some time ago. I keep everything I write, also when I hit a bad day and write 200 words of bullshit that don’t make sense at all. I finally managed to give every document a name and the date it was written at, just so that I’ll always be able to see how good or bad I was around a certain time. (Example: 29.04.08 Reno hammer mord).
How much time do you spend on character creation? - Time? I don’t know exactly, when I take a look at my two weeks of preparations, I’d say around one day for every character. Usually details just get into my head and work together when I’m doing the scene-by-scene schedule, or when I’m typing the profile of another character. Things such as age and look are always simple, most of the time is spent with the past and questions such as
What’s his motivation?
His goal in life/ his goal concerning the novel?
His CONFLICT – how is it solved, how is it not? Why?
And, which I always see important: Can he LEARN something during the novel? What? Why?
What scene or piece did you really hate to write? - Geez, I never really hate. Some scenes are difficult, some are plain boring because nothing special is happening, but hate’s a really harsh word. I don’t hate. I just – you know? I think I could name one of “3 Gallants”, the whole beginning and getting it on was just so plain boring to write, because it was mostly interaction of characters and getting to know the setting. Geez.
Which one did you love? - Oooh, MANY. I LOVED what Gabrial did to his girlfriend in “Parasit”, I LOVED how Candle first met the STREEETLIFE in “Weltende” (because he’s blind, you know) and I know I’ll love to write Lindsey killing his own daughter. …yes, I like writing intense scenes, mostly dealing with fury, pain or love. Feelings.
What's your favourite thing that you've written? – You mean, of everything I’ve ever written? That’s still “Raison D’être”, my 760 000 words novel, the first one I’ve ever written. It’s not GOOD, you know, there are tons of clichés, and I really mean TONS, but then again, when I wrote that one, I still could write without thinking of the audience, without caring of wordcounts or anything like that – I could just write as much as I wanted to, and when I wrote the last lines after a 20 000 words-day, I cried like a wolf, because it was over and I loved the characters so much.
Seeing my more serious work, like the stuff I maybe could sell some day, it’s still “Parasit”. I like the main idea, I like the characters, and I think it’s actually pretty solid written.
Most fun character you ever wrote? – Filth from “Raison d’être”. He is one of these strange, sick characters that need to destroy themselves and try it no matter what. I love destruction. I love writing it, reading about it, and I think that guy has such a bunch of problems you can hardly help him anymore. I even own a coffeecup with his picture. You’re going to see that one soon, too!
Concerning my newer work, it’s Eugene from “3 Gallants”, the pyromanic guy. I love him. I love guys that love playing with fire.
Most annoying character you ever wrote? – Geez. Since I don’t believe one has to LIKE the characters he’s writing, I think I had a lot of my characters that I couldn’t stand at all. There is Gabriel in “Parasit”, one that was absolute hell to create and keep at the level of nervousness and craziness he’s living in. Since I hardly agreed with him on anything, it was not exactly easy writing him.
Best plot you ever wrote? - My best plot? Errr…I don’t know, I think there hardly can ever be a best plot, every plot is fascinating and can be fascinating on its own way, I mean, I loved the characterwork and conflicts of “Parasit”, I love the main setting of “3 Gallants”. My favourite is still “Parasit”, I’d say. Sadly, not everything came out as clearly as I wanted it to be, but that one was just so amazing to write.
Coolest plot twist you ever wrote? - That was definitely “Raison D’être”, simply because it’s so HUGE – that’s where my character Seele is coming form, I mean, my main character is somehow losing that part of him and that’s Seele, or there’s this house the main characters are walking into, just to find out it’s the mind of another character, and there’s the MAIN plot of that the whole village they’re living in is watched over by another species called Synka. …sounds so damn shitty, and many parts simply are, but geez, I still love it.
How often do you get writer's block? - Not often. I don’t leave myself time to even start getting one, really. The last HUGE one I had was back in February, 2006, where I didn’t wrote for two full weeks and felt worthless and as if everything I ever wanted to do just didn’t work, you know, my characters are crap my plot is crap everything’s crap. I still have a lot of bad days – days when I stare at my written stuff and shake my head and wonder why, just why I am not able to write BETTER stuff, but I always carry on, because I think you can revise later, but to revise something and WORK on something, you need something written. Written is written. I hardly ever stop. With a speed of 5100 words in one hour, there is also no time to have any regrets while writing.
How do you fix it? – Well, since there only was this huge one, I can just tell you about that: First I put it aside for two weeks, trying to get my mind off of work, you know, I did other things, I tried to draw, played a lot of Playstation, watched a lot of movies, just doing things that did not have to do with writing, and then I felt how it started screaming and yelling for me again to come and get it, start over, and that’s what I did, slowly and soft but definitely.
In any other case, all I can say is: Don’t let go. Do NOT let go, do not try to get way from it, do NOT take a too long break, because when you’re waiting too long, all the beautiful tricks you set up for yourself and for the reader just fall apart and all that’s left arte a lot of written pages and a crying author. Go ahead. Writing daily is a good way to not let a block hit you, same with always keeping updated and having input, so that you always could have something to write about. If that’s not working, ask for prompts and do your own sprint, try to write 20 minutes without stopping or caring or whatnot. It always helps. If you love writing, not even a block will make you wanna stop.
Do you make investigations for your stories? – I do, but sadly said, not as in-depth as I should do it, as the revision I got from “parasit” proves. For “Randtanzen”, I had to read a lot about mental diseases, I read a lot about ICDs and DIS (did you know that some people have 100 different personalities trapped in one body, or that the average number of sub-personalities in a sick man is 8, women 15?)…but all in all not as much as I should do. I often tell myself I can come back later, see if that really fits, if you really can split a human being into half with a butcher knife, which all has to do with me being lazy about investigations and…well, people, I am writing so many over-the-top scenarios anyway, I do not think that a lack of some aspects is bad.
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? - Yes. When I realize an idea’s not worth bothering, I push it aside for awhile, but it can come back as it wants to. “Pentagon”, the novel I stopped working on some months ago, still has a fascination what if? – situation, and maybe I’ll one day write a short story about it, just because I can and want to. There are no stupid or spoiled ideas, there are just stupid and spoiled ideas of how to work with them. No idea is bad enough to be abandoned forever, so I never do that, too. There are special pages in my notebook about ideas once used but not used further, or not fully.
Do you want to become a famous author one day? – That’s a bad question. I think lots of authors would like to earn money with that they’re doing in their freetime; I’m no different from them – but I think I am working hard for one day reaching that goal, and after all, it’s what I want in my life, that’s the goal I am working forward. Daydreaming one could call it, sure, but there’s nothing I can lose besides free time others might spend in front of a game console or the TV station.
I’ll manage it. Sure I will. That’s the spirit I have to use to not go crazy from time to time.
Who would you dedicate your bestselling work to? - I hardly ever dedicate, simply because I think dedications are just some strange ways to show affection that maybe isn’t always lasting. I wouldn’t dedicating it to one in my family, because none of them is caring enough about me or my work, but I would maybe dedicate it to Juliane, my best friend, because even though we never really talk about writing and my goals, she knows about them and she simply believes – same with Kei. Faith and believers, that’s what an author needs by his side when he wants to make it.
Which genres do you prefer? – Since I absolutely admire intensity and creepy stories, I’d go for thrillers, psycho thrillers, horrostories in a special limited way (like, I do not like to read about monsters, vampires, werewolves, I don’t know. I really don’t. I prefer monsters that sit inside one’s own head). That’s also what I kinda try to write, but all in all, it’s not, for me, the genre dictating my work, but my work dictating the genre, and when I’m finished with “Randtanzen” I will have another look at it, too, just to find out what it could fit the most.
What's one genre you have never written, and probably never will? – Comedy. I admire people that can write stories that actually make me laugh, but I simply can’t write stuff like that; I think my personal humor is just WAY to twisted and strange and sickening, and I also think that my dialogs are just not made to make other people laugh. If I’d write comedy, I’d have to make them love on purpose, and that’s terrible, I prefer getting feedback and see: Oh, she liked that scene and had to laugh about it, that’s cool!
Which rating and warnings do you usually give your stories? – Mature content because of explicit violence and lots of blood and cursing (those who know me know how much I curse as well) and, concerning fanfiction, and not my novels, also a high number of sexual situations.
Which things are typical for your style? – Repetitions. I LOVE repetitions, I just love them, I love to repeat keywords and special phrases, it always makes the things I wrote seem to be more intense and thoughtful and meaningful. Sometimes I have to cut them down, though, because they’re simply too much.
Next, I often use too long sentences combined with “and”, and they can go on for, like, hours. That’s what I call close to stream of consciousness, just not in the mind of someone, but in the regular text. Sentences without a comma. Sentences without a halt. That’s typical for me.
Sadly to say, it’s also typical that my characters tend to talk a bit over the top. Too much, and too strange-sounding, at least that’s what I realized when I correct my stuff, many scenes sound strangely dramatic, even though they’re not supposed to.
And, well, “hätte” and “Würde” and “sollte” are as well BAD Ravanna words as “irgendwie/wo/wann/was” and “obwohl”.
Did I forget anything? At least people keep telling me I got an at least kinda unique style and that you do can recognize it under a few other stories, which makes me proud, because a unique style is what I’m searching for.
What inspires / influences your style? – Other stuff I’m reading, authors, for sure. I think King influenced me a lot, yes, and I also think that whenever I read too much Pratchett, I can definitely feel that when I’m typing. I don’t mind the influence of King (when I am nervous before I start a novel, I usually read a few nice paragraphs of “Misery” and calm with that voice in my head) but all in all, it’s just reading influencing me, which is, well, understandable I think, since you canm only know how to make it better/different/equal when you read about a stylistic element or metaphor or whatnot before. After all – writing, art in general, that’s all just the art of remembering.
Which kind of endings do you prefer? – We-ell, when I’m reading, I like open endings a lot, because they just leave so much space for all kind of interpretations, and I also love writing those, for I see writing then as some sort of little adventure when you take the book into your hands for the second time: you search for clues concerning the ending, you think differently about a lot of said words. Open endings are great, same with open endings with a touch of BAD, because damn, life is not beautiful, the world’s not stopping after the novel’s written and the storyline told, terrible things still happen, and even though we leave the characters, they still have to deal with all their problems and the pain they feel or felt or whatnot.
Happy endings are nice to read in fanfiction. I like fanfiction that leaves me with a fluffy awww-feeling, because I am romantic and sick as that. For myself, written Happy endings are hard to do, because the stuff I write most of the time IS not happy. Never will be. That’s why I love epilogs and tend to write one after every goddamn novel – just to show: The world didn’t stop. The world has moved on, and here you get a small picture of HOW and WHY, and that some things will never ever change – not to the good.
Which themes are important to you? – Humans and the mistakes they make, as well as why we make them, and why some of them will never change. I want to tell what makes humans HUMANS, about their mistakes, yes, and how these mistakes affects others. I love dealing with personalities, with characters, and I think I’ve always seen an expressionist, because I think also these dark themes such as prostitution, drug users, people without a home, people without a future, they need to be dealt with, their monsters need to be shown and that’s what I do, yeah. Art always tries to imitate life; I definitely do and try to show. I offer no solutions, I just show.
What is the main topic of your stories? – Change – of characters, of behavior, of own inner conflicts. Not always change is possible, not always does it make anything better, but change is just another word for fear ( I CAN show you fear in a handful of dust), change is what surrounds us everyday, and I just like to show what kind of changes exits, how they start, how they walk over your life and leave you lost and torn apart.
Do you prefer novels or short stories?- Novels. Short stories are a nice go when I am working on my next novel and want to distract myself from the last one I’ve been writing, but all in all, I definitely prefer long stuff where the characters have space to develop, where the story has enough space to grow. Short stories often have the more fascinating style, which is fine with me, but all in all, I would always buy a novel before I buy a book filled with short stories.
On how many writing projects are you working right now? – Two. One is “Randtanzen”, which I will finish by the end of the week, I think, the other one is what I am planning to write afterwards.
How many of them are currently ongoing? – One – “Randtanzen”. But not much longer. That novel’s way too long again, but at least the very fascinating scenes are now coming like a disaster, simply because we ARE close to the total disaster.
What are you reading? Douglas Adams – mostly harmless, but simply because it’s one of the books that has been standing on my shelve since nearly a full year, and I told myself I will only buy new books when I’m done with those I still own and just never get to read. …but I somehow feel that I will read a King afterwards again, because reading King is what I love to do the most.
What kind of music are you listening to while writing? – Soundtracks, yeah. Most of the time those from Silent Hill by Akira Yamaoka, because his style is just as disturbing as my novels usually are, and I just LOVE how his melodies really can touch something inside of you. HERE is an example you should give a listen to, just because it’s so touching and amazing and GEEZ, I just love that guy. I just love him.(and that’s one of my alltime favourite themes by him. Never fails to give me creeps)
Besides Yamaoka, I listen to a lot of Uematsu, too. I don’t see him as excellent as Yamaoka, but they’re dealing with two different themes, so you can hardly compare them. Too loud music is distracting me, too quiet music is making me feel strange when I type.
Which characters do you love the most at the moment? – At the moment it’s Riley, my poor dear from “Randtanzen”, simply because.
What's he or she like? – He’s quite young, but his head isn’t working correctly, so he does act younger then he actually is, and he’s actually a very nice dear that just has to deal with two different characters forcing their way into him. He knows he is kinda sick and wants some treatment, but he doesn’t get what he wants. His life is just like – breaking inside his own hands, he knows he will get killed sooner or later, he hears voices inside his head, there is no rest for him, no peace, and all he can do about it is screaming for help without that anyone cares a lot – because people believe he’s already dead yet.
Why did you start with writing? – I read “Misery” by Stephen king, and that book kinda…was like a shock for me. I don’t know why, I admired the style it was written in, I admired the story, and I wanted to do something like this, too, so I began with fganfiction and short originals, until I realized how precious writing is for me, what it means to me. I’m none of those authors that holds a message that NEEDS to be heard, no, I don’t think so, I cannot change the world with my writing, but I want to make people feel and be afraid and I want to shock and I want to make them smile. I became a writer because it’s all I ever was really good at and ever will be.
Do you get many ideas from reading other’s books? – Well, sure! As said before, input’s coming from everywhere, sometimes it’s just a line in a book, sometimes it’s a paragraph or something. You know, we cannot re-invent the wheel once more, but we can try to write it different, once more with feeling. Never steal the whole crown, just take some of the diamonds and work with them so that no one can see where the diamonds came from, that’s my way of dealing with this matter. How original your story may sound – it’s written in a book somewhere anyway, so do not even care to worry about your precious imagination and unique style.
Where do most of your ideas come from? – That’s a GOOD question. Where does MOST of my ideas come from? Hm, I’d say from books by other authors, by reading, yeah. I get lots of ideas when I just walk through the city, too, but I think just reading some scenes can set a whole fire into my head that I just work on afterwards. That’s why reading is so important for me, too. Those with no time for reading shouldn’t even bother with writing. You need reading, not just for ideas but also for getting better.
Does music help you write? Why so? – Music helps me, yes, but I am still not sure WHY exactly. On the one hand, there is the fact of atmosphere – when I listen to music I usually visually SEE the song in some sort of video inside my head, which gives me ideas or sets me into a special mood, and I think that’s what music does to me while writing, too. Setting the atmosphere. Making it easier to get out of the usual world and into my document and the things I am dealing with inside.
Do movies or TV series inspire you? – They do, of course. Input, as books and news are, too. Little details, character traits, how you NOT do special things, sure.
More their characters or their story? – Geez. You mean concerning TV series? Then I’d say their stories. I have a lot of different characters in my head, all kind of being with all kind of troubles or good ways of living, but sometimes there’s just a little scene of someone drowing and it can make my whole head go like BOOM.
Does inspiration come in the morning or in the late hours? – Late hours. Few years ago I was still writing in the middle of the night (well, some would say 5 am still is in the middle of the night, too), but all in all, when I’m working on my scenes or my characters, I prefer doing it when the sun’s down. I don’t know why, maybe because I feel calmer as soon as the day fades away, too.
Do you always wait for inspiration, or are there other reasons for writing? – I write everyday around the same time, there is no need to wait for inspiration. When I’m done with my novel, I grab one of the ideas that once hit me and work on that, and while working on that, there comes another hit of inspiration that I use once more for another novel after that one…really, writing doesn’t have to do with inspiration, not at all. It’s useful, sure, but if I’d just write when I feel inspired, that would maybe be twice a week, maybe even just once. Writing is some sort of work for me, it’s business, after all, and hell, you cannot just go to work when you feel like it, too.
music? – Uhm, as said, I love soundtracks, but I do listen to some bands, too. I like the Goo Goo Dolls, I am absolutely in love with the Two Gallants (at the moment the love of my life, like, seriously. Their music is just so wonderful and rocks so much). Dir en grey, Die Ärzte, I’m a fan of good, solid rock as well as the great pianist Tori Amos, too. All a matter of my mood, the time of day, why I listen to music.
author? – Stephen King. I could ramble about why and how and whatnot forever now, but I think most of you just know why, and they know this is like, the only man of GREAT importance in my life. Some of his work is not good, sure, but I just admire his output and his way of seeing writing, characters and life itself. I love King. I think I will never stop loving him.
book? – Misery by King, reasons mentioned very often now, but I think that “The Long walk” and “The Stand” share the space on place #1. They all have great characterdesign, they all deal with very interesting storylines and they’re all written in a great and fascinating style. They touched me like hardly any other book ever could, and all in all, they’re the big three in my King life and what I rec the most and…well. You know.
movie? – Léon the professional – yeah, it’s STILL my favourite movie. When I was still a little kid of 11 years, my mom went to some sort of marriage and left me with Robert, some sort of my cousin, you know, and well, he turned on the TV and told me that would be a great movie. I watched it without understanding everything, I cried and I laughed, and when I found the DVD a few years later, I bought it. I think I’ve only seen that movie three times completely, and I cannot see myself watching it again any time in future, but I loved it, I still love it and maybe always will.
words? – At the moment it’s Boo’ya Moon*laughs* But generally I love the word “Glas”, “Randtanzen”, I just LOVE the word “Weltende” and “Apokalypse”, “Schatten”, “Herzenswärme”, but all these are words I do not regularly use. Why should I?
quote? – “In life, we do not get what we want – in life, we get what we are. In order to get more, you first have to be more.” I don’t know, that simply always touched me deeply, somehow showed me all that I want to achieve and all I have to do to manage it. But there’s another one: “Hearts do not break. Most of the time, they’re only bending”, and last but not least, “Die Leute, die an ihren Ansichten und Meinungen festhalten, warden definitive leiden, aber niemals bereuen”
EDIT: Might update this every once in awhile. Stay tuned.