Would You Rather
Would you rather start every sentence in your book with ‘And’ or end every sentence with ‘but’?
‘And’ seems so much more hopeful! I think that using ‘And’ would create a quite maddening momentum, but there could evolve a zen-like effect after the initial adjustment. But ‘but’ would be infuriating, both in application and as a reading experience. I don’t think I’m that much of a sadist I’d want to inflict that on myself or anyone else.
Would you rather write in an isolated cabin that was infested with spiders or in a noisy coffee shop with bad musak?
Both noise and spiders are incredibly distracting but noise trumps everything else for me. Music is also crucial to the feel I’m trying to get whilst writing. I even made a playlist for anemogram that’s up on Youtube. It would be interesting to see what the results of writing under extreme Muzak duress would be, but I can see much more to be benefitted from the spider situation. Spiders are many things but generally noisy is not one of them. Their presence would create an interesting tension, which could inspire some rather feverish creativity. I’m doing a fun horror project at the moment so being in constant fear could add an immediacy to the writing.
Would you rather think in a language you could understand but write in one you couldn’t read, or think in a language you couldn’t understand but write in one you could read?
Instinctively the latter, as I feel this is pretty much what I do anyway.
Would you rather write the best book of your career and never publish it or publish a bunch of books that leave you feeling unsatisfied?
Easy. Write the best book I could and never have anyone see it.
Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?
Haha! I would destroy myself if every thought went straight to Twitter! It would be a very swift and dramatic end. I’ll save that inner voice as fuel for my writing exclusively. I think the slow unravelling that would be caused by an internal narrator would be a more worthwhile, if torturous, experience. Could I choose the voice? Werner Herzog please.
Would you rather your books be bound and covered with human skin or made out of tissue paper?
I quite like the idea of books bound with human skin, but there are some ethical considerations, such as where the skin is sourced. Perhaps it could be harvested after death along with other organs, or readers could donate skin to their favourite authors. It would be great to take lab grown skin, made with the author’s own genetic material, and cover our books with it. We do put so much of ourselves into our writing after all.
Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading?
I’d rather no one show up whether I was naked or not.
Would you rather your book incite the world’s largest riot or be used as tinder in everyone’s fireplace?
This is actually a tough question! Riots are generally a bad thing. Destruction. People die. But they do clear the air. The act of burning any book does create that inner wince because of the connotations, but leaving that to one side it intrigues me that everyone now has an open fireplace. This implies that the world has finally entered the end times. If my book can warm someone as society crumbles then that is a gift I’m all too willing to give.
Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?
Pens and paper, obviously. Apart from the inescapable fact that I rarely use a pen and paper anyway, there is so much that a laptop is essential for as an indie author. I’d have to leave my house to do research, visit a library or some other kind of archive. The convenient aspects of writing on a computer make the whole process one which is far more about getting to your destination faster and with as little pain as possible.
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?
I think it would be possible to forget about it if it was tattooed. It would be incredibly uncomfortable for me to have my words parroted back at me for any length of time, let alone for how long I’ve got left on this Earth. It would be great to leave instructions to be buried in a bog so that future generations may stumble across my preserved corpse and use the cryptic tale emblazoned across my skin as the basis of a new religion.
Would you rather meet your favorite author and have them turn out to be a total jerkwad or hate a book written by an author you are really close to?
Oh, meet someone I admired and them be insufferable, definitely. I’d get over it.
Would you rather your book have an awesome title with a really ugly cover or an awesome cover with a really bad title?
This question is such a trap! If pushed, I’d have to say a really great title. I suppose that if your book is going to be spread by word of mouth, when it’s referred to the title is important. I wouldn’t want anything that caused indignation or amusement in that way. Bad covers can be the most memorable, so at least an impression of my book would stick in the mind, even if it’s not a good one.
Would you rather write beautiful prose with no point or write the perfect story badly?
This hits home, but the answer is easy. Perfect story every time. It has to be there, whatever you are doing. Self-indulgence is fun, and there are readers who appreciate those games, but the novelty wears off quickly and it’s just not what I’m about.
Would you rather write only embarrassingly truthful essays or write nothing at all?
The world does not need more confessionals so I’d put down the pen. There’s a type of egoist pursuit involved in putting your guts out on show that I find uncomfortable. There are other ways to expression, and whilst bleeding into the typewriter is the way to the work, the work should not be a way to bleed.
Would you rather your book become an instant best seller that burns out quickly and is forgotten forever or be met with mediocre criticism but continue to sell well after you’re gone?
I’d like to get the writing done whilst I’m alive and leave any other considerations until after death. This is the ideal situation for me. There is something comforting about having people gravitate to any of my writing in a slow way over time. To persist maybe means that some kind of enduring chord has been struck. I couldn’t ask for more than that, even if those who criticized me in a mediocre fashion did.
Rebecca Gransden lives by the sea in the United Kingdom. She writes mainly short stories and has recently self-published her first novel. Supports indie authors with great passion. Her writing tends to focus on forgotten or neglected people and places. She likes documentaries and music plays an essential part in the creation of her stories.