Would You Rather...
Would you rather write an entire book with your feet or with your tongue?
Feet. I may be able to touch my nose with my tongue, but I don't think its dexterity extends to holding a pen. Also, licking a computer in order to type sounds … gross. Feet it is, then! I'd make it work.
Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?
I would definitely prefer a long string of moderate sellers because I've got more than one story in me, and it would be frustrating to only have one of them take off into the world. I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at a giant bestseller, but a long string would be preferable.
Would you rather be a well known author now or be considered a literary genius after you’re dead?
I'd rather be well known now. I don't need to be considered a genius. If I can do my thing and people continue to enjoy it, then that would be good with me.
Would you rather write a book without using conjunctions or have every sentence of your book begin with one?
So I think I would like the challenge of having ever sentence beginning with a conjunction. But could I sustain that over an entire book? And then there's the challenge of there being only so many conjunctions. Yet I would prefer doing this over losing them entirely. Because you see what I did here with just this short answer, yes?
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?
My all-time favorite book is Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, so it would take up less real estate on my body than some of my other favorites. Because I have days where I am a bit sensitive to noise, I'd think I have to go with the tattoo by default.
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?
While it would be tempting to write the crappy book and then turn it into performance art during all the press interviews, I know I'd rather write the book I believe in.
Would you rather write a plot twist you hated or write a character you hated?
Character, definitely. Characters do not have to be likeable.
Would you rather use your skin as paper or your blood as ink?
Isn't my skin already covered in Mysteries of Pittsburgh? So I suppose that makes it to where I'd have to use my blood, though maybe I'd make it go a little further by cutting it with water. Besides, tattoo or not, my body won't be around forever, but blood-ink on paper can be passed along.
Would you rather become a character in your novel or have your characters escape the page and reenact the novel in real life?
Oh, both of those sound quite fun, in their own way, but I'm quite happy with my life. The characters can escape the page because my novel involves a really great rock band, and I'd love to hear what those songs sound like. I'd rather be friends with my characters, flaws and all, than be them.
Would you rather write without using punctuation and capitalization or without using words that contained the letter E?
I could get used to no punctuation or capitalization, but it would annoy me to think of the right word and not be able to use it because it has an E. Isn't E the most common letter in the English language?
Would you rather have schools teach your book or ban your book?
Banned books do get a lot of press, but I'd rather it be taught. Infinite Disposable is ripe for all sorts of school projects — flash fiction workshops, using photography, theme, ideas on how we perceive life. I'd enjoy knowing that somewhere out there that a teenager was thinking about these things and also perhaps being saved from reading The Scarlet Letter.
The novel, whenever it gets out into the world, wouldn't be taught in high schools. Too much swearing with a splash of drug use.
Would you rather be forced to listen to Ayn Rand bloviate for an hour or be hit on by an angry Dylan Thomas?
Bring on Dylan Thomas. I think I might find him amusing.
Would you rather be reduced to speaking only in haiku or be capable of only writing in haiku?
Hell, my brain hiccups enough with the whole of the English language at my disposal, and speaking in haiku would further complicate that. Plus, it'd drive everyone nuts. Bring on the writing challenge, once more.
Would you rather be stuck on an island with only the 50 Shades Series or a series in a language you couldn’t read?
I would rather have a series in a language I couldn't read because if I'm stuck there, I'm going to need something to do, and I think I'd figure it out eventually.
Would you rather critics rip your book apart publicly or never talk about it at all?
They don't have to talk about it. Critics are one thing, readers are another. As long as people are reading it, and I'm happy with my work, that's fine.
Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?
Twitter does not need more of my rambling bullshit! Plus, I'd get myself in trouble, somehow, I'm sure. A voice in my head would be much more preferable.
Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?
A computer entirely or just for writing? If it's just for writing, I'd rather give up the computer. I could always hire someone to transcribe for me, and sometimes I do better thinking on a pen and paper anyway.
But if you're taking away my internet too, then I will cry about it and hand you my many notebooks. And then cry some more. Hardly anyone would know anything about me without the internet, and I'd lose friendships with so many people.
Would you rather write an entire novel standing on your tippy-toes or laying down flat on your back?
I've got both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, so I'm pretty sure it'd be near impossible for me to do tippy-toes — unless I was only writing a couple sentences per day. Give me a nice lie down instead.
Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading?
I'll read to just the staff of the bookstore, if need be. It's fine. The nakedness resistance is part embarrassment, yes, but also, that sounds chilly.
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?
Give me a compelling story! I can look past poor writing if I am really into what is happening. Good writing is of course fantastic to have, but you need to be saying something with all those pretty, pretty words.
And here's Sara's response to the question that was asked of her by Jessica Anya Blau last week:
Would you rather write a bestseller anonymously, or a moderate-seller under your name. (And no one can ever find out that you wrote the bestseller!)
Hmm... if "bestseller" translated into financial stability for my family and it wasn't the only book I'd ever write, that would be fine with me. Artists' kids aren't exactly going to be rolling in the college tuition dough, and there are also other projects the Mister and I would like to do that would be assisted by extra cashmoneyz, so I would be fine with anonymity in this particular instance in order to make those other things work. It's not all about me!
Check back next week to see what Kelly Davio would rather
and see her answer to Sara's question:
Would you rather have to give a reading about the worst thing you ever did (with your parents in attendance),
or would you experience that worst moment all over again?
or would you experience that worst moment all over again?
Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a staff writer for Persephone Magazine, and book reviewer at GlorifiedLove Letters. Her work has appeared in Little Fiction, The Rumpus, and Pajiba, among other venues. She is the editor for Electric City Creative, an arts promotion organization based out of Great Falls, Montana.