Q&A with Marisa
Hey everyone! I’m Marisa, your Friday poster, and I’m here to answer your questions!
What first got you into writing? Was there anything that sparked your curiosity?
If I’m being completely honest, I never expected to love to write like I do. I always loved to read. And I loved English class, especially when we did personal narratives and poems. When I was in 7th grade I had the most amazing English teacher, and over the course of the year we had to write and develop a conflict in our life. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done to start off with, but as the year went on it became fun. She called each draft a “loop” and there were eight of them. Each one would be different. One would be just prose, another would be dialogue. Then there was a character development chart, and at one point we had to write a poem too.
School ended, and that summer I was browsing through Sarah-land, Sarah Dessen’s fan site. In the blog section, people were posting chapters of books they were writing. I thought, Hey, I could do that. Before then, the thought of writing a book never occurred to me. Almost immediately the idea for Dancing Through Life came to me. I haven’t stopped writing since.
What is your favorite genre to write and why?
I really don’t have one. I write whatever comes to me. Sometimes it’s realistic, sometimes it’s way out there. As of right now I have the most experience with general fiction. I LOVE it. I love getting into the heads of normal teenagers and working through how they’ll overcome they’re problems. But then, my newest novel is a dystopia setting that’s action with a romance subplot. I have another dystopia/thriller idea that’s in rough outlines and a sci-fi one as well.
What gives you your inspiration? Do ideas just pop into your head, or do you sit down and focus before getting a great idea?
For me, if I try to focus on writing, it’s either really poor or nothing gets done. The best ideas come to me at the most random times. Especially right before bed. You know, that time where you can’t fall asleep, so you’re just lying there, you and your thoughts. For this, I have a notebook that stays right beside my bed.
What's the main reason you love reading/writing?
Reading is the ultimate distraction. It can take you away to another world, and put you in situations that would never happen in reality. I love the emotion reading pulls from me. I laugh with the characters, I cry with the characters, and I root for them. It gets to the point where I want them to be real people.
With writing, on the other hand, I’M in control. The fates of these characters are in my hands. I get to figure out their stories, figure out how I want them to end. I get to create my own world, and that’s just so amazing to me.
Do you plan out the plot and characters of your stories before writing? Or do you improvise and write as you go?
I never do full outlines. I just can’t. I always write as I go. The characters and plot develop on their own as I write. I get too distracted when I attempt to outline. And yes, there are flaws in the plot the first time through. But hey, that’s what editing’s for.
What do you like better, dancing or writing?
Wow, that’s a good question. And such a hard one! Dancing has been with me my whole life. I started when I was three, and I’ve been competing since 5th grade. Dance is a way for me to get out of my shell. I love impressing my instructors and pushing myself. Writing, on the other hand, is something that keeps me in my shell. I do it for myself, and love the self-satisfaction that comes with it. Writing hasn't been in my life as long as dance has, but it’s packed a huge punch. Both are pretty even when it comes to my love for them. I can't choose! I hate to not answer a question though, so as of now writing comes out a tiny bit ahead. And I’m only saying that because I had to answer the question! :)
What is your favorite type of dance that you do?
Another hard question! I love every type for different reasons. Hip Hop rocks. There's so much energy in it and it's a great workout. Jazz is the most versatile, you can do so many things with it! Ballet is just so pretty and graceful. For some reason, I’ve always especially loved tap. I love the preciseness of it, and the just the overall sound of the tap shoe in motion. It’s great.
Did the Wicked song really inspire the title for "Dancing Through Life?" Or was there more to it?
Well, actually, Dancing Through Life was the title of my book before I even knew Wicked. Well, I always knew major songs like Defying Gravity and Popular, but that was it. Crazy, huh? Then I became a huge Wicked fan, realized one of the songs was Dancing Through Life, and freaked out at the weirdness of it and the odds of that happening. BUT right now DTL is under construction, and with its new makeover a new title may be coming as well. :o
Computer or paper?
Computer all the way, for the same reasons as everybody else. It’s so much faster! I can get much more done at a much quicker pace, and my hands don’t come out hurting like they do with hand writing. One time, I got my computer taken away from me for a week (It wasn’t my fault! Blame my sister. :P) and over the course of that week I wrote TWENTY PAGES by hand. Gah! My hands hurt just remembering that incident.
Pandas and koalas. I always thought they were just the cutest things ever! So adorable! :)
Well, there’s some true insight into me. Haha! See you guys around the Treehouse :D