Writing Tips

Common Questions Writer’s Face

I don’t know about you, but I certainly get a lot of questions whenever I tell people I’m a writer. Most of the time, they’re the same questions over and over again, and as anybody knows, answering the same five questions all the time can be a bit repetitive and annoying.

So here are a few ways you can answer those annoying questions!

  1. So when it is going to be published?

When it’s finished. – No, actually, you can answer this question any way you like, but honestly, writing a novel isn’t as easy as people think it is. It’s not just words on a page, ship it off to a publisher, and a few weeks later, you can buy it off the shelves of any major bookstore. Most novels never see the light of day (at least, mine don’t) and if they do, it’s not until they see major rewrites and changes not to mention extensive proofreading.

2. What exactly is that (freelance writing)?

I get this question a lot. People seem to have absolutely no idea what being a freelance writer means aside from assuming that I do absolutely no work and just laze around the house all the time eating ice cream and watching Netflix. Truth is, when I’m not doing work for clients, I’m constantly looking for more jobs to fill in the gaps. It isn’t an easy profession either because you have to stay on your toes and jump at any opportunities that come your way.

3. Will you put me in your novel?

Believe it or not, I don’t generally want to put people I know into my novels. Odds are, your character will come off looking badly or develop one of your more annoying traits that only I see. It’s a dangerous idea to put in people you know since they might get upset at how it turns out. Only once did I put someone in (in a fictionalized form) and I made it clear that their character would be a villain.

4. How many pages is that?

When it comes to NaNoWriMo, the word count goal is 50k words, but to most non-writer people, that doesn’t translate to anything and they constantly want to know how many pages it is. I generally don’t pay attention to page count, especially when I’m writing the book. That leaves me floundering for an answer, trying to guess how many pages it would be when I really just want to say that it’s the words that matter not the number of pages. Also, it all depends on font size, paper size, margin size, and everything else so there will be no accurate page measurement until it’s actually formatted for printing.

5. Can I read it?

A lot of people may say this when you tell them you’re writing a novel, but a very small handful will actually follow through in the end. The problem also being that when they want to read it, it’s not done and I never let most people read my first draft due to inaccuracies and grammar and all that. They can read it after it’s been edited and proofread and looks much better. At the point where I’m sick of reading it, they can read it.

As a writer, you’ll get all sorts of questions and you may have to find answers to them. Or you can be vague and let people guess. It’s your choice.

What are some annoying writerly questions you get from people?


6 thoughts on “Common Questions Writer’s Face

  1. I have one caveat on the NaNo thing, if it’s easier, the US publishing standard is 250 words per page so the 50k word goal would translate to about 200 pages.

    However, the annoying question for me is asking what I’m working on. Unless I’m working with someone (you) on developing plot and characters, it’s really hard for me to talk about projects in progress. They tend to change a lot and until I get a first draft out, I don’t always know the best and easiest way to describe what it’s about so I either end up under explaining, or more often, I over explain and spend half an hour talking about the project, when they tuned out after the first 90 seconds.

    1. Psh, have to get technical, don’t you.

      I can never really explain what I’m working on because half the time I don’t know where it’s going (not using outlines and all that can get in the way sometimes). I under-explain frequently, too frequently… I should work on that.

  2. The “Can I read it” is the one I always run into, myself. Also, they always seem to ask “how did you get started doing this?”

    1. That’s one question that is difficult for me the answer. It’s sort of a round-about thing featuring embarrassing stories. Ha, so I try not to answer it when they ask.

    1. I can see that being a problem for erotica writers, and possibly writers in general. Those poor erotica writers who write so much better than 50 Shades and have to suffer that question these days.

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