23.5.11 | By: Megan Langham

Attack of the Novel Questions!

...I just can't resist a questionnaire.

So here I am, answering these novelizing questions. If I make it through, I'll be so glad I applied the all-encompassing tag to myself.

Right. Here goes.

1. What’s your word count? 64,574. Unimpressive, I know.

2. How long until you finish? That's the question, see. I have four chapters and an epilogue left to write, and those shouldn't take me too long -- only now that I've jinxed myself in such an ignorant fashion, they will. I shall be done by the end of summer, though. I shall.

3. If you have finished, how long did it take you? Haven't finished. Hmph.

4. Do you have an outline? Yes; and 30+ pages of working notes.

5. Do you have a plot? Bwahaha! Always! (...a novel plot, you say? Oh, I've got one of those too.)

6. How many words do you typically write a day? That depends on the day. During November I wrote 2K, more or less ... these days it can be anything from 2K to zilch.

7. What was your greatest word count in one day? Somewhere around 4,500.

8. What was your least impressive word count in one day? Somewhere below 10.

9. What inspired you to write? I've got a whole blog post on that: Inspiration Times Ten.

10. Does your novel/story have a theme song? The closest thing it has to one is probably "Hymn for the Missing" by Red, but even that doesn't nearly cover everything. Perhaps I shall just have to write my own theme song -- or have a musically talented person do it for me.

11. Assign each of your major characters a theme song. How now, brown cow! Likewise I have made a post for this tricksy task.

12. Which character is most like you? This is hard to say. Margery's personality is the closest to mine, and I gave her my eyes, but she's nothing like a self-insert. (Which is good, as she annoys me on occasion.)

13. Which character would you most likely be friends with? Rhys, for sure. I could see myself eventually being friends with all of them (or nearly all) but he and I would hit it off the quickest, I think.

14. Do you have a Gary-Stu or Mary Sue character? All the tests I took told me otherwise.

15. Who is your favorite character in your novel? Eeesh. This is difficult. I'm a little bit in love with Selwin, I would be lost without Rhys, I feel strong kinship with Evan, and I kind of adore Glynnis.

16. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected? I remember the day they started; it was a Wednesday, and it was fairly early on, so it must have been the 10th of November. But I liked it, because it was Rhys being unexpectedly awesome.

17. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences? After my recent experience with acute and piercing pain, my first rational(ish) thought was, "At least I know now how [character] is going to feel when he's lying at the point of death from his stab wounds. If I ask my sister to bring me writing implements, will she refuse in the morbid belief that my pain has driven me mad?"

18. Do you believe in plot bunnies? It's hard not to believe in creatures that literally climb up one's shoulder. Call me crazy, Ishmael. I speak the truth, and lie not.

19. Is there magic in your novel/story? No; it's historical fiction.

20. Are any holidays celebrated in your novel/story? Palm Sunday is celebrated by a bloody battle. That's ... all, I think.

21. Does anyone die? It might perhaps be better to ask if anyone doesn't ...

22. How many cups of coffee/tea have you consumed during your writing experience? Sorry, I don't have enough fingers and toes to say. (Neither does the nearest baseball team.)

23. What is the latest you have stayed up writing? All night. I think that's about as late as it's possible to go.

24. What is the best line? I'm inexplicably fond of this line myself: Evan did not cry out or even flinch; but his eyes had taken on the look of a man staring into galaxies, blind and deaf and numb to everything but the madness. But I don't think it's the best: it's too close to pretentiousness for that.

25. What is the worst line? “Lord Iorweth is very handsome.” Oh, Rhoyna.

26. Have you dreamed about your novel/story or its characters? Twice. I'm glad it was only twice.

27. Does your novel rely heavily on allegory? Not heavily, but there is a good deal of allegory intertwined among the foundation posts.

28. Summarize your novel/story in under fifteen words. Evan must deal with his friend's sacrifice -- and the sins that made it necessary.

29. Do you love all your characters? I do. I used to hate my antagonist until I found out why exactly he became the antagonist in the first place, and now I feel burning pity for him, which ought to count.

30. Have you done something sadistic or cruel to your characters specifically to increase your word count? Sadistic? Cruel? Me? I take offense to that insinuation!

31. What was the last thing your main character ate? Eeep. Evan hasn't eaten in a while. He's going to get frightfully thin. I ought to feed him before the next chapter....

32. Describe your main character in three words. Stubborn. Moody. Brilliant.

33. What would your antagonist dress up as for Halloween? I don't know ... Edmond Dantes, perhaps?

34. Does anyone in your story go to a place of worship? They do.

35. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel/story? One, pretty much. Well, two, but one of them is not so much a romance as a nasty intrigue that (thankfully) doesn't get a large time slot.

36. Are there any explosions in your novel/story? No, more's the pity!

37. Is there an apocalypse in your novel/story? Likewise and likewise.

38. Does your novel take place in a post-apocalyptic world? Pre-apocalyptic, by anyone's standards.

39. Are there zombies, vampires or werewolves in your novel/story? Naturally not -- it's historical fiction.

40. Are there witches, wizards or mythological creatures/figures in your novel/story? Er-hmm. It's historical fiction.

41. Is anyone reincarnated? To the best of my knowledge, never ever.

42. Is anyone physically ailed? Not unless wound-fever counts.

43. Is anyone mentally ill? Hm. Not as such, though I'm beginning to wonder about a few of them.

44. Does anyone have swine flu? Back then it was the rat plague.

45. Who has pets in your novel and what are they? Are horses pets?

46. Are there angels, demons, or any religious references/figures in your novel/story? There are religious references, yes.

47. How about political figures? My friends, meet Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, meet my friends. ...and also meet his little brother. Naughty Dafydd.

48. Is there incessant drinking? Well, they're medieval soldiers.

49. Are there board games? If so, which ones? Not unless we include, metaphorically speaking, the Great Chess Game of Medieval Europe.

50. Are there any dream sequences? Yes. Yes, there are.

51. Is there humor? Readers have giggled -- over some of Selwin's witticisms, I think.

52. Is there tragedy? Readers have wept. Characters have wept. I have wept.

53. Does anyone have a temper tantrum? Two characters have one minor one each.

54. How many characters end up single at the end of your novel/story? One. (See, I'm nice! I hardly ever kill married persons.)

55. Is anyone in your novel/story adopted? No, though a few of them have stepfathers.

56. Does anyone in your novel/story wear glasses? It's 1282. Not possible.

57. Has your novel/story provided insight about your life? It has, a bit.

58. Your personality? No, except it inspired me to discover my own Jungian personality type as well as that of my characters.

59. Has your novel/story inspired anyone? I don't know, but it is a consummation most devoutly to be wish'd.

60. How many people have asked to read your novel/story? Somewhere around twenty, all told. They're awfully sweet people, they are.

61. Have you drawn any of your characters? I would if I could draw worth a shaker of salt ...

62. Has anyone drawn your characters for you? No, but I would be eternally delighted if anyone did.

63. Does anyone vomit in your novel/story? At least once.

64. Does anyone bleed in your novel/story? Quite a bit. There's a war on.

65. Do any of your characters watch TV? They shoot arrows through one another instead.

66. What size shoe does your main character wear? Whatever fits. (Which, by the modern US sizing system, would be about a size 10. I think.)

67. Do any of the characters in your novel/story use a computer? Quill pens.

68. How would you react if your novel/story was erased entirely? From existence? I might... die. And then I would try to recreate it from the notes I have scattered all over my own existence.

69. Did you cry at killing off any of your characters? I went even further than crying for one of them; I don't like to confess that, though.

70. Did you cheer when killing off one of your characters? Of course not!

71. What advice would you give to a fellow writer? Don't edit until there's something there to be edited. Read like Fahrenheit 451 is coming true tomorrow. Let your characters into the deepest places of your heart, no matter how much it hurts.

72. Describe your ending in three words. Bittersweet. Cathartic. Evening.

73. Are there any love triangles, squares, hexagons, etc.? There is a triangle of sorts, but it's rather spoiled by being (essentially) resolved within the first two chapters.

74. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least stressful, 10 being the most) how does your stress rank? It bounces. Generally I stay at a nice steady seven. (My mother wanted to know why I can't write cheerful unemotional stories. I ... had nothing to say.)

75. Was it worth it? I'm not finished yet, so I can't give a definite answer, but so far -- YES.

There. That was a delightful ordeal. And now I suppose I ought to tag someone...

I shall tag Katie, Jenny, and Abigail, specifically. But I'd love to see anyone fill this out -- and not just because I'm sadistic. These questions were a blast to answer, and I wouldn't take that hour back again. ^.^

13 missives:

Jenny said...

Eek! I'm going to waste so much time filling this thing out. Some of these questions, I don't even know how I would answer them. Well, stay tuned. I'm sure I'll come up with something mildly amusing, possibly pathetic.

Also, I love what your characters do in place of watching TV. I shouldn't, but I do.

Abigail said...

Yes, Megan, you are an evil time-killer - and a time-killer for your friends, too, which is worse! But I shall probably fill this out soon. ^.^

"...draw worth a shaker of salt..." That's so me! Oh, and I put Tip Brighton through the Gary-Stu test. He came out...a negative three. Yep, negative. Sad, so sad.

Jenny said...

All right, you've gone and done it. I wasted my own hour answering those questions. I hope you enjoy them. :P

Now I have to come up with some intricate plan as to how I'm going to get you back. Hmm...

Megan L. said...

Well, you filled these out admirably, Jenny. And you're the one who cursed me with the character soundtracks, so I think we're about even now... ;P

I shall like to see what you come up with, Abigail. And those Gary-Stu Mary-Sue Persephone Eowyn tests are all different; they could use a shaker of salt. Negative three is good (I think Rhoyna got a positive three when I put her through one).

Anonymous said...

Bwaha, this was so fun to read! You are hilarious, my friend.

I plan to waste my hour sometime very soon. :p

Megan L. said...

Hee hee. Thank you, Katie. ^.^

I look forward to it!

Sparrow said...


YOU have brought this into our corner of the world! YOU are the reason for the unproductive afternoons, the fits of laughter, the strange glances cast in the direction of the writer and reader, the unfulfilled word-count goals!

Whatever shall I do with myself? You and Abigail and Jenny have struck me dead, rendered me incapable of doing anything but staring at the screen and gurgling. You, woman, are expressly dangerous, and if I were wise I would forbid myself to have anything to do with you.

You. You, you, you, you...YOU.

Megan L. said...

Right. You've found me out. I confess. I apologize. I abase myself in ashcloth and sacks.

...so now are you going to fill it out?

Please? Pretty please? What's one more wasted hour that won't be wasted if you cause the rest of us to stare at our screens and gurgle in poor imitation of a fox kit?

(Oh, and I'm glad you're not wise. ;-P)

Keaghan said...

Hi Megan! I just found your blog through Abigail's and followed. :)

Your book looks very interesting! (Writing has spurred me to discover my Jungian personality type, too.)

I look forward to reading more!


Megan L. said...

Hey, Keaghan! Thanks for commenting. ^.^ I've actually babbled on quite a bit about this particular novel, if you care to look through the archives -- every author has their pet project, I suppose!

(Oh, and it seems like everybody knows Abigail. ;-))

Sparrow said...

...And now you try to drag me into this? The thought is insanity! I shall resist! My defenses shall be scrounged up from the bottom of the ocean floor where now they lie, rusted and decaying, and restored in all their glory, for this I must defy! I WILL...will...will...

*wilts* Perhaps when Wreaths is further along, I can spare thirty minutes. Or an hour. Or so.

Or two.

Megan L. said...

Sparrow, Noskvish, Inklighter ...

I love you. ^.^

(And Martin, as far as I know him.)

Squeaks said...

:D This was a really cool questionnaire! I love doing question-thingies about my characters...so I copied most of these questions off and answered them over at my blog :P (here's a linky if you're interested in checkin' it out).


Signed with pumpkin spice,


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