Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Interview with Naomi

For today's interview, please welcome Naomi Bennet! And thanks so much for sharing with us, Naomi!

Naomi Bennet is a sixteen-year-old Christian girl with an everlasting writing passion. While not (yet!) a published authoress, she has written three children’s books and is currently on two projects (or more.) You can find her rambles and girlish opinions on stuff at her blog, Wonderland Creek.

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1. (Heidi) Some differences and similarities you see between the three major forms of storytelling—literature, music, and film? 
(Naomi) This is an interesting, thought-provoking question! In my opinion, books – literature – crave the imagination best. I don’t know about you, but as I read, I imagine music soundtracks and I get completely IN it. Movies, on the other hands, have it all there, so no imagination is needed. As for music, while I do find it easy to find story inspiration when listening to it, I don’t immediately find stories in it as I do when I find music in books. (I hope I answered this alright!)

2. How have you seen those three mesh together in your own creative process?
As I said, I do find inspiration from listening to music, and definitely by watching movies, and MOST definitely from books. 

Music doesn’t exactly give me story ideas, but they kind of throw me in a scene-idea. For example, I lately listened to a song of the ‘Andrew Sisters’, giving me the idea of putting a ‘concert scene’ in the WW2 book I am (trying to) write now.

Movies. Ah yes – I love, when I write stories, thinking of it as a movie. I love to find the right ‘actress’ and ‘actors’ (Dan Stevens, often) for my characters, and thinking of the right soundtracks and scenery to match what I write. I do that a lot. Films give me a great help with my creativity.

And of course – books. That’s my main source of ideas, inspiration, you name it. I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for literature.

3. When and how did you first begin writing?
I’ve been scribbling whatnot since toddler-age, but I started seriously pursuing it by the age of nine, perhaps ten. But for years I only started stuff, and never ever ended stuff. It wasn’t until the age of thirteen, when I finally found I had finished something of about one-hundred pages, that I told myself I was a writer.

4. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on two things. Well, more than that, of course, but I’m working on two things seriously. One, called ‘Pen-Enemy’, about two boys who write each other letters and become enemies instead of friends, is about half-way, and one, a WW2 story about an evacuee girl, I have only just started (and I’m reeeeally excited about it, so don’t ask me any more about it ‘cos I’m gonna scream.)

 5. Particular author/s who have influenced you?
All in chorus? Lucy Maud Montgomery and Lynn Austin. People who’ve read my Writery-posts on my blog know this. My best friend Emma also gives me tons of writing inspiration, and, for my children’s books, I often find myself getting compared with Roald Dahl, whose books I used to like a lot.

6. Is there a “non-writing” activity that shapes your writing? 
Reading, definitely.

7. Your opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of digital books?
Haha, well, I am not against digital books at all. They are handy, and cheap and space-free. I like to think of my grey kindle as ‘my library’. But I must say, I remain old-fashioned at heart. For a truly good read, nothing will ever replace my good old thick, paper-in-the-hand, cover-to-hide-in real books.

8. Do you ever do graphic design to help with your writing? 
Well yes, sometimes. I do like finding the right ‘faces’ and scenery pictures and all that, but mostly I write down stuff rather than going into serious graphic designing. I just want to get on with the writing as quickly as possible, you see! (And once I’m on Pinterest… yeah.)

9. Do you outline? If so, in a general way or very detailed?
I should, and I do, often, but perhaps not as detailed as I should. I always write down ideas, and quick plot lines and character-forms. For some books I have been very detailed indeed – writing down every single scene so that I could write them out of order. But for other books I have the vague outline written down, and kind of write around it with the details (hopefully well stored) in my head.

10. Do you work on multiple projects at once?
Yip. Oh, yup. Oh, oh, oh, yes. Yes. I do, yes. Aye, aye ma’am. Heidi, yes, I do.


11. Do you edit as you write?
No. I tend to write my first drafts rather quickly, and do all the editing later. I have to be honest, I do not like editing. I still have two drafts not yet edited, and I just don’t feel like doing it. But I’ll have to, sooner or later. But I must say, editing is my least favourite part of writing. (Any editing tips? I need them! Please share in the comments, if you’re good at it.)

12. Certain themes you see surfacing and resurfacing in your work?
Love. I’m a romantic person, and I like putting some sweet (clean) romance in my stories. In my children’s books, however, not that much; but in the older-teenage-books, love is definitely a theme.

Change. Always, and always, I have change in my books. Many of my books start with the arrival, or departure of someone – of the protagonist dealing with the change aspects in her life.

Happiness. I like my books to encourage people to be happy. With small things, and just, with life.

13. A particular aspect of writing you struggle with or a challenge you’ve overcome?
Finishing stuff! I used to be horrible at this, but since I started blogging I got pretty encouraged by fellow writers and now I’m becoming much better at it, much to my joy and surprise! Finishing things, is SO worth it; there’s nothing better than writing THE END.

14. How do you deal with feedback—particularly negative feedback?
I have to say, that’s something I have to work on. I tend to get a little frustrated perhaps, at first – of course, that kind of cools away very soon, but it’s often there. I do love feedback, and I want feedback, including negative. It’s really important, and I really appreciate critique. I have to learn to accept it from the first second I read it, though, not only five minutes later. :-)

15. One thing you’ve learned from other writers?
Finishing stuff and just going for “it”. Honestly, thank you guys. :-)

16. A helpful nonfiction book or website?
I most get my writer-help from reading other fictional books and stuff like that – I don’t think we have a writer-book in our house! (Is that an issue?) I do enjoy writer blogs, including ‘Go Teen Writers.’

17. What do you consider one of the single most important things to remember (i.e. an attitude or technique)?
Not to give up. I often keep a word rule – currently I have to write 1000 words every day. This gives me encouragement to keep going on even if the story bores me for a while.

18. A word of encouragement for fellow writers?
Strive on and write when idea/passion/inspiration starts. DO it. If you’re stuck, force yourself to go on, because it’s SO worth it! And write things you love! :-)

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Thank you for interviewing me, dear Heidi! It’s a great honour to be part of your lovely writer blog and I hope to read your books in the future. I’m sure they are really good. :-)


  1. Replies
    1. Naomi,
      My pleasure! (And I actually just sent you off an email, too.)

  2. That was wonderful! I always love reading things from other writers. :D

    1. Thank you, Sarah Margaret! By the way, your name is adorable. :-)

  3. How fun! Naomi sounds familiar. I think I know her.


    Interviews are always so interesting! Especially about writing. Great answers, Naomi! And some great advice and tips. As usual. :-)

    Write things you love. AMEN. That is SO important, I've been discovering lately. Also write about things you know. That helps me a lot. Who was it that said, "Write what you don't know about what you do", or something like that? It's true, in a weird sort of way.

    Love this! :-)


    1. HAHA, Emma. I think you know her too. Not too sure, though. :-PPP (I love it when we're sarcastic.)

      Thank you so much, dear! Oh I like that... 'write what you don't know about what you do.' I have no clue who said it, but whoever did say that... it's true. And yes, haha, writing about things you don't know is... I mean, wut's the point of that?

      ~ Naomi

  4. Ooooooh, your new WIP sounds awesome! I know what you mean about not sharing too much about it yet, though. Can't rub the sparkles off!

    Change is essential to all stories. Without change, there's no story! Right? Good for you for figuring that out already. Took me years to see how important change is to stories.

    I think I was in college before I read a book about writing. Some are helpful, and some can leave you feeling like you're an idiot -- I avoid the latter, hee. Books on writing can be useful, but not as useful as actually writing. The more you write, the better you get at it :-)

    A thousand words a day? Look at you go! That is awesome.

    1. Hamlette, thank you for your lovely encouraging words! I'm really enjoying my current project, writing 1000 words a day, but yes... it's still kind of undercover. ;-P

      Yeah, change is important!

      I agree. Some people say you absolutely NEED books about writing to be able to write a good book, but I tend to disagree. I have started reading writing books, but they really dis-encouraged me, so I just stopped. I know, the best thing is to keep on writing!

      ~ Naomi

    2. I tend to agree with William Faulkner (even though I have yet to enjoy one of his books). He said, “Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.”

    3. Naomi and Hamlette,
      I agree 100%!!! And Naomi, I love that coined word: "dis-encouraging" --- I'm going to be borrowing it. ;) Rest assured, you will not find me reviewing any "dis-encouraging" writer books here. ;) (Such items should come with warning signs attached!) Also Hamlette, I LOVE that quote --- pat on perfection!

  5. Loved this interview!! And Naomi's answers-so fun to read! :) I totally relate to your problem of finishing things. Still, to this day, I have finished NONE of my stories. BUT I have one in the works that has been keeping me interested and excited longer than any of my others-I truly think (and hope!) I'll finish it. :)


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