Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Writer's "Would You Rather ... ?"

I became aware of a little game called "Would You Rather …?" a while ago on the radio where the hosts would ask listeners strange questions that had them make choices between two equally disgusting or silly things. For example, "Would you rather eat a dozen hard-boiled eggs in twenty minutes or one uncooked snail in a second?"

I was surprised at what people would choose to do when my choice would have been the opposite. It got me thinking of some questions to throw at writers and what 'rather' I'd pick. I'm going to try and stay away from disgusting food choices (although a debate between cheesies and M&M's might be fun) and keep them slightly realistic. I know the temptation will be to answer some of them "Well, I want both!" But that's the agony of the game! So, ready to play? Okay, here we go.

Writers, Would You Rather …

1. have your first published book take off like wildfire or have a slow, steady build?

2. have a fascinating, complex, page-turning plot or fascinating, complex characters that make you want to learn more about them?

3. write your first draft all in one, frenzied, three week rush or take a slower, steadier pace over a year?

4. have a universally panned book but have great sales or get universally good reviews but your book lives in obscurity?

5. blog twice a week or twitter daily? (remember you can't choose both!)

6. date Johnny Depp or Ryan Reynolds? (okay, for this one you can choose both)

I'll be fascinated to hear your choices. Oh! You want to know mine? Okay.

1. I'd want a slow, steady build not a first time flash. I need adjustment time!
2. Hard one, but even though I love my characters and, if they're done really well I would root for them even through a silly plot, I think I'd rather have a kick-ass plot. It's the engine that drives the whole book.
3. Even though I don't do it, I wish I could spew out a first draft in 3 weeks. Get that sucker over with.
4.I'd love the sales but if my writing sucks that bad that everyone pans it I'd find it hard to keep going.
5. Argh. Hard one again. I guess, Twitter. Writing blog posts is hard!
6. Sigh. Thank God I relented on the choice here. Both, of course.

So, are there any other difficult "Would You Rather…?" questions you can suggest?


  1. Oh, great post! But tough choices. Let's see...

    1. Slow & steady, for the same reason as you.

    2. Argh. I have to go w/characters, mainly because I think if you nail the characters they will provide the plot.

    3. Exactly the same as you--I wish I could spew it out, but alas. Still, it IS what I'd rather.

    4. I'm with you there, too. Though the mid-ground on both would be okay, if I had to compromise.

    5. Twitter. But only because it's easier to squeeze into a day.

    6. Both, of course. Why choose if you don't have to? ;)

  2. okay here goes:

    1.I'd want a slow and steady build into something great though

    2.Kick ass plot.

    3.I'm not a 3 week draft writer but I would prefer it to over a year. I'd want something in between.

    4. Great sales all the way.


    6.Johnny Depp - I don't know who the other guy is.

    Fun game Nelsa!


  3. Well, I'm one of those impatient jump in with both feet type of people, so..
    1. Gimmee the sales right off! Te he
    2. Tough one, we really need both, but I guess plot.
    3. I've done it in 3 weeks. I'm obsessed and completely immersed which is soooo not healthy but I love it! I tell myself I can take time on revisions.
    4. Sales (we have a bar mitzvah coming up in a couple of years and it would be nice if we could pay for it) :)
    5. AAAGH!! Don't make me choose! Twitter I guess because again, it's more immediate and you can't always count on people coming to your blog though I love it now.
    6. Johnny Depp - but don't tell my husband!

  4. i love this game and these are some great questions!

    (1) SLOW & STEADY wins my race.
    (2) close call, but PLOT.
    (3) 3 WEEK RUSH because that's the opposite of how i write. i think it'd be amazing to be overwhelmed by my characters and story to that degree that i had to get it all out at once.
    (4) also a close call, but i'm going for SALES.
    (5) TWITTER

  5. Great questions, Nelsa!

    1) wildfire!--why not?
    2) characters, definitely
    3) 3 weeks
    4) uh ... hard one. I'll take the great reviews ... guess I care more about people's opinions than money. Is that good or bad?
    5) blog twice a week. I don't like twitter.
    6) Johnny Depp. Ryan's too young for me! :)

  6. Puts things into perspective...alrighty:

    1. Take off like wildfire, there wouldn't be any stopping after that.

    2.Fascinating, complex characters that make you want to learn more about them. I love describing people and pulling emotions out.

    3. First two books I wrote in a flash. This latest I'm taking more time with and it seems to be working for me. So slow & steady, not more than a few months though.

    4. Good reviews, build into a steady profit.

    5. Blog twice a week (which honestly I'm lucky if it's once a week.) Twitter doesn't have much of an appeal to me.

    6. Johnny Depp, he's not only good looking he's intellectually deep.


  7. Wow, guys, this is really a fascinating peek into your psyches! I love it!
    Linda: we're almost twins - I really struggled between characters and plot so it's a toss up.

    Laura: You don't know who Ryan Reynolds is? Honey, grab a DVD of The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and enjoy!

    Lisa: Sales are always what we strive for - I hope many, many come your way. And I won't tell the hubby about Johnny. Our secret!

    Ruth: I never thought I'd like Twitter either but it does grow on you. And Johnny seems to be winning out here!

    Indigo: There is definitely something to starting off your book career with a wildfire - I hope yours will be hard to contain! And you've hit the nail on the head with Johnny - can you imagine the amazing conversations you could have with him? Wonder what he's reading now?

    Thank you so much for playing! I should do this game every once in a while. I'm going to need more hard choice writer questions tho!

  8. Oh, hey, mumfusa! How could I miss you? You picked Ryan and spewing out a first draft in one amazing rush - both choices I wish for too! But it's not likely I'll get to experience either, darn it! ;)