Elspeth Cooper

Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Twenty questions

Image list of 20 questions about the writer

I had great fun answering these twenty questions on Friday.

These 1 like = 1 fact memes circulate on Twitter on an almost daily basis, but this was the first time I’ve taken part in one. Several questions made me think, so I thought the answers deserved a wider audience.

Big thanks to @writer_gem for the original post that kicked it off.

1. Age you started writing

To hear my parents tell it, I started writing about five minutes after I first picked up a pen. It was certainly single digits, 8 or 9.

2. Story that inspired you to write

Parents again – read me Ivanhoe, Gawain & the Green Knight, tales of King Arthur. I think the epic adventure craving took root there.

3. First WIP title

First WIP I can recall didn’t have a title, but it was something medieval & King Arthur-adjacent.

4. First, second or third person?

Third, although I do have some non-genre ideas that are inclining first. I have no idea why.

5. Favourite time of day to write

PM and well into the night. I blame this on 20yrs writing around a full-time job.

6. Favourite place to write

It varies. I have an office with a desk, but I’m doing most writing these days in a squidgy leather armchair with a view of the garden.

7. Most overused word

“Just” is the one I know about. I’m sure there’s others!

8. Most overused punctuation

Semi-colon, probably. I’m also particularly fond of the Oxford comma.

9. Long or short sentences?

I tend naturally to medium, but will consciously change up/down for mood. Too much of the same rhythm is boring to read, imho.

10. Plain or purple prose?

Lilac at the most 😉 I wouldn’t describe my prose as windowpane plain, but I’m not afraid of colourful imagery either.

An open book with ribbon marker

© Ingvald Kaldhussater | ID 514554 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

11. Your first MC

Remember that King Arthur-adjacent story I mentioned? Guillaume de Montrachet was the MC.

12. Favourite trope

The crusty mentor. What can I say, I’m a complete sucker for it.

13. Least favourite trope

The feisty not-like-other-girls Smurfette sidekick who spends 90% of the book hating the hero before twoo wuv happens.

14. Least favourite OC

I have no idea what this one means. Sorry, I’m British.

15. Worst writing habit

You should probably ask my editor, but the thing that drives me nuts is beating my head against a problematic scene for days, instead of recognising what I’m doing and trying a new approach. Too stubborn for my own good sometimes.

16. Weird personal writing quirk

I am incapable of a vomit draft. I have to be fairly happy with each scene before I move on. As a pantser/discovery writer, the act of writing is how I work out the flow & structure of stories. It’s very organic. Possibly not the most efficient process, but it’s mine.

17. Notebook or computer?

Once upon a time it was both notebook & PC, now PC only. Chronic illness has made hand-writing impractical & frustrating, but I miss it.

18. Favourite setting to write

Favourite setting is definitely secondary-world fantasy. Maybe I’ll run out of those sorts of stories eventually; who knows?

19. Biggest writing fear

My biggest writing fear is definitely not being able to finish what I’ve started. That one keeps me awake at nights.

20. Biggest writing hope

My greatest writing hope has already happened: I got to see my books in print. 2nd greatest? Ties in to #19: to finish what I’ve started.

 

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Well, that was painless

Thanks to those clever people at All-in-one* the hardest part of moving my website to a new host was waiting for the domain transfer to go through (then it happened in the middle of the night because of course it did).

Nice here, innit?

Photo of sleepy cat under table

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*Seriously, their All-in-one WP Migration plugin does exactly what it says on the tin. Ridiculously easy to switch hosts.

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