Would You Rather
Would you rather write an entire book with your feet or with your tongue?
My tongue? Oh god, no. Just thinking of all the paper cuts sends shivers down my back. Is Siri an option? Ha, kidding. I’ll always be an Android at heart.
Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?
Neither. I don’t feel my “narrative voice” will ever belong in the giant, moderate, or bigger-than-a-micropress industry. There’s something very comforting about that because there are so many amazing micropress writers out there doing pumping out amazing work. I’m proud to be a part of the community.
Would you rather be a well-known author now or be considered a literary genius after you’re dead?
See previous answer. Besides, I often use Bay Area lingo in my writing and my stories contain unconventional non-mainstream content. I don’t believe anyone will ever see work containing my language or choice content as “literary genius.”
Would you rather write a book without using conjunctions or have every sentence of your book begin with one?
I don’t already do both gratuitously?
Would you rather have every word of your favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the background for the rest of your life?
Neither. I’d still want to adore and hold it on a pedestal (Arthur Nersesian’s Chinese Takeout).
Would you rather write a book you truly believe in and have no one read it or write a crappy book that comprises everything you believe in and have it become an overnight success?
I’ve written and am currently writing content that will never see the public eye. In the past, I’ve just been lucky to have had a small press (Casperian Books) that has believed in my first two works, and given me the opportunity to publish in the indie market. As for overnight success, see answers to questions #2 and #3.
Would you rather write a plot twist you hated or write a character you hated?
I hate characters that I write constantly. Don’t we all? Plot twists are harder because I would feel as if I had little control over the situation; however, I would still have complete control over how the characters would respond so I think I could spin both a despised character and plot twist.
Would you rather use your skin as paper or your blood as ink?
It’s not normal for people to do both?
Would you rather become a character in your novel or have your characters escape the page and reenact the novel in real life?
Going to sidestep directly answering this question because I’ve always thought (and maybe this is narcissistic), it would be so cool to sit down and have a conversation with some of my most intense antagonists. As writers, we give these characters life, but they pretty much run the show after that, so I feel I could gain a lot of insight in just sitting down and having a cup of coffee with a few of them. Scary thing is they’d probably spend a lot of time criticizing my choices and grammar in my writing so I think it could make for a hilarious situation.
Would you rather write without using punctuation and capitalization or without using words that contained the letter E?
imagine all the time and headache we could save without punctuation as a necessity i already dont dot my is or cross my ts when handwriting stuff that letter e is super important although i suppose im off the hook when it comes to esigning my name
Would you rather have schools teach your book or ban your book?
Both. I had some amazing teachers in middle and high school who still taught books on the banned list.
Would you rather be forced to listen to Ayn Rand bloviate for an hour or be hit on by an angry Dylan Thomas?
Anything but the bloviating.
Would you rather be reduced to speaking only in haiku or be capable of only writing in haiku?
Not a fan of haiku. I detest it actually. Too restrictive.
Would you rather be stuck on an island with only the 50 Shades Series or a series in a language you couldn’t read?
Not a fan of 50 Shades or any book series, really. I think I’d rather be stuck on an island with Pabst Blue Ribbon. And that says something.
Would you rather critics rip your book apart publically or never talk about it at all?
Rip me apart. I have no “safe word.” Tell me I’ve been bad, and what I’ve done or am doing wrong. I want my writing to grow, not live in my own stunted universe. I feel I’ve learned a lot from the criticisms of my debut novel, alt.punk, and I have been applying that to my new works, especially Single Stroke Seven.
Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?
Since I already have the voice in my head blaring at all seconds of the day, the Twitter thing could prove to be a little interesting. It’d raise a lot of eyebrows, that’s for sure.
Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?
Easy. Computer. I still draft everything with college rule lined paper and a mechanical accounting pencil. This makes for a nightmare when I have to transition everything to a word doc but I feel handwriting my drafts forces me to commit and worry about revisions later. It’s just so easy to take things back when they’re on a computer screen.
Would you rather write an entire novel standing on your tippy-toes or laying down flat on your back?
The latter. Writing in bed while passing in and out of sleep produces some of the most interesting results.
Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading?
Would everyone at this reading be naked as well?
Would you rather read a book that is written poorly but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content but is written well?
Best question ever to close out this series. There are such amazing narrative voices out there and I am drawn to great similes, metaphors, and presentation of such simplistic scenes and plots, so definitely the weak content but written well. And “written well” does not mean the narration is grammatically correct and all the moving pieces make sense. The most hard-hitting and impactful writing, I’ve found, is the stream-of-consciousness writing when a character/narrator just goes off in the heart of his/her conflict, and does not worry about making perfect sense or being appropriate. To me, that’s great writing.
and here is Lavina's response to Andrew F Sullivan's question from last week:
Would you rather write YA books or experimental poetry for the rest of your life?
YA Books. I think they have a stigma that they're Goosebumps books or Babysitter Club books, but I believe writers have a lot of space to explore in that genre, and can definitely introduce great works into the world through that medium.
Check back next week to see what Jayme K would rather
and see his answer to Lavinia's question:
Would you rather draft work in a busy bustling cafe with lots of chaos to draw inspiration from or would you rather be isolated in a log cabin with no interruptions at all?
Lavinia Ludlow is a musician, writer, and occasional contortionist. Her debut novel alt.punk can be purchased through major online retailers as well as Casperian Books’ website. Recently, her sophomore novel Single Stroke Seven was signed to Casperian Books as well. In her free time, she reviews independent literature over at places such as Small Press Reviews, The Nervous Breakdown, American Book Review, and Plumb Blog. She hearts all indie writers, musicians, and artists and hopes you do too.