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March Feature Deviant is:
How long have you been using dA?
Not many know this, but I actually joined back in 2007. I left shortly after, but... well, as you can see, I'm here again.
I've been using dA for two years, judging by this account.
I have too many favourite authors to list! I'll just list my favourite poet: Rainer Maria Rilke. I can't really express my feelings and thoughts for his poetry, as no words of mine can sum up what it really means.
However, I can list a few of my favourite authors, them being Charlie Fletcher (for his wit and awesome diction), Neal Shusterman (engaging plot line, I seriously recommend 'Unwind'!), Maggie Stiefvater (beautiful imagery) and Patrick Ness (profound style).
My favourite poem is "I am alone in the world" by Rilke... although there are so many versions out there! It has been translated many times, which may be why.
This poem is something that I can relate to so well, and it's written so eloquently, I feel. I have it on my desktop so I always see it when I go on the computer. It's something that is ever present in my life, but I guess it just depends on your own interpretation.
Recommended reading - 4-5 novels/plays/poems etc you would suggest to others to read?
I would recommend all of the authors I've suggested above, actually! They're all 'young adult', I think, but they're all so engaging and they have individual points about them that make the novel fantastic and fun to read.
How long have you been writing for?
I was introduced into the art scene quite late, I have to say. I started writing when I was thirteen or so... thirteen was an age that was pretty monumental for me, in so may different ways...That's another story for another day.
What kind of literature to do you write?
I usually write about human nature and touch lightly on philosophy. I try to write something that provokes thought and that is introspective to us, because sometimes I feel that we're not looking inwards enough for us to realise certain things that are in front of us, if that makes sense?
In terms of form, I do terribly there.
I'm pretty experimental when it comes to my literature, but I like to stick with flash fiction for prose and haikus for poetry, usually.
How did you get into writing?
I have absolutely no clue.
Before the age of thirteen, I didn't really like literature and I hadn't delved into it much, but things were going on in real life and I felt I needed to escape, I needed to be somewhere else.
I channelled all of that into a world that I typed up on the computer. I managed to finish it (albeit loosely) with about twenty-eight chapters or so and I remember looking back at it a few years later asking myself what the heck I was thinking.
At the time, it helped a lot, and it spurred me to use writing as something more than just writing, if that makes sense.
Why do you write?
Writing is cathartic, more than anything, for me. I first wrote for the sake of it, to create worlds that were real, yet not real, as well.
It was for sublimation, the want to express and find an outlet for the intense emotion felt inside.
Do you believe there is an aspect to a piece of literature that will make it successful (e.g. characters, setting, style), and if so, what do you think it is?
I wouldn't say there was a set 'aspect' to a piece.. certainly not just one aspect. Things like a good set of characters, believable settings and an engaging style obviously help, and I think a piece of literature is an equation and balance of all of these aspects.
However, that only applies to certain forms of literature, such as novels. I think novels can be made more successful if there is a plot twist. Personally, I wouldn't say no to some humour and an underlying story, such as romance or tension of some kind.
There are many different forms, though, and not all require these things, which are quite common in something as familiar as novels. Take six word stories, for example. You certainly can't fit all the different aspects in just six words, and yet they can be so powerful, regardless.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that literature is a fluid thing... sure, there are some set 'guidelines' (like grammar and spelling), but it's something that we can wield, much like any type of art, really. It just depends.
Do you become attached to your characters? If so, what is it about them that causes you to do so?
Perversely enough, my problem is that I don't become attached at all, and that may be part of the reason why I can never write a novel or anything longer than a short, flash fiction piece. I guess I don't have enough creativity or imagination to keep them alive, bless their souls.
Could you kill off a character?
I guess this leads on from the question above, but yes, I can definitely kill off a character... although I'd be sad that I couldn't continue to live through them, as such, I wouldn't feel anything more than that, though.
Why do you like dA as a place to post your work? And, do you feel you receive constructive feedback on your work?
I don't post that often on dA, but when I do, it's mainly to gather thoughts, opinions and different perspectives. I find it all fascinating how one person can interpret something to be in this way, and then another can interpret it completely differently. It all makes it more enjoyable, and it also means there is communication between writer and reader, and more of a connection and understanding as well.
I receive some feedback that I would define as 'nice' as 'ego boosters'. Sometimes I receive constructive feedback, but, to be honest, I'd rather people thought about the concept and content of it all rather than critiquing the piece itself.
I'm not specifically looking for constructive feedback on the execution, so, if I do receive it, it's lovely of them to comment in such a way, but I just want some light debating on the content. Heck, not even that. If I've made someone think and question things, then that's pretty good for me.
You are an admin for DailyLitDeviations. What is it that you do for DLD and what got you involved with it?
Ah, this takes me back a long time... Within a few months, I wanted to be a prose/poetry admin because I saw DailyLitDeviations everywhere. However, I wasn't successful, but I was contacted later on to be a General Admin, and then, from there, I became Contest Admin and then Affiliate News Admin. You can say that I've moved a fair bit.
I organise the contests on DailyLitDeviations and I posted the 'LitLight' series when that was going on.
As to what got me specifically involved, just a desire to help the community, really. It's why I'm here on deviantART.
You founded the group SixWordStories. Tell us about it and it's goals.
SixWordStories... where to begin. xD
I think SixWordStories is the only group that specifically focuses on six word stories. We mainly provide prompts, challenges and other projects to get people motivated and inspired to create six word stories, as it's an art form that not many are familiar with, I think. We're mainly an art creation group, in that sense, and I have to say that I love the stories that people come up with and I love my role in SixWordStories. One of the best things is that you can read the whole story in just the preview, but I guess I shouldn't say that.
We don't have any goals specifically at SixWordStories. I mainly wanted to provide a home for everyone in the community... and it's generally good to have six word story writers in one place, those alike flock alike sort of thing.
I guess, if I had to say, it would be to make the group a home for artists and to have fun overall. I want an atmosphere that is relaxed, warm and enjoyable... I wouldn't say no to the continuation of that alongside the possibility of building onto the community that we already have to make it as strong as it can be.
Do you have any advice for people when joining groups or getting the most of out dA?
In terms of joining groups, only join the ones that you really feel you can contribute to. That doesn't mean submitting your deviation to the gallery, it means participating in the projects, taking part in what the group has to offer and giving your support to the group. Sure, it acts as a home for us all and such, but there are people, deviants just like you and me, that try and run the group. It doesn't help if you are members of loads and loads of groups and your priorities are split.
To get the most out of dA, give your most to dA. I don't really have that much sympathy for those that sit in their corner, waiting for popularity or something else to come and fall onto their laps. It doesn't work that way in life, so why should it work on dA? That's not to say that some people don't achieve it, some do, but, for the majority, we have to work our asses off, and we are better for it, I think. It's much more rewarding, and... well, I'll let this quote say it all:
There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else. ~ Peyton Conway March
Most of all, though, just enjoy it and have fun. Integrate yourself into the community and find a set of friends that will stick by you no matter what. It's not about pageviews, statistics or even popularity here, it's about the art and the connection that we all share.
SixWordStories is a running a 52 Week Six Word Story Challenge. Tell us about this and what deviants need to do to get involved.
Deviants can jump in and out any time. When people read "52 Week" or "365 Days", it feels like a contract sometimes, but for this, you're definitely not in a contract. If you feel like taking part, please do! If you don't, that's fair enough as well.
We've teamed up with theWrittenRevolution and it's basically a project that anyone and everyone can participate in. The main goal is for the challenge to be challenging and for writers to develop skills, knowledge about themselves as writers and to just broaden minds, really.
You don't need to be a member or anything. It's not restrictive in any way... or rather, we hope that.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? Best advise?
Read, practice, write. Reading will hopefully develop your vocabulary, practising makes perfect (as they say), and writing keeps on that regularity of it all, if you do it constantly. Develop your own sense of style and just.. go with the flow of things and have fun.
I don't really know any specific tips and advice, as such. If you can, join some Groups that focus on literature and take part in their projects, find workshops, and do a bit of basic research on things. I guess that I'm trying to say is to be active rather than passive, which is a massively hypocritical thing for me to say.
If you really believe you have talent, you really feel that this is what you want to do and you think you've got an awesome concept, go for it. However, don't raise your expectations too high when words don't come out or they create the wrong sort of impression on the audience or anything else, in fact. It takes time and effort, but also goals that are doable and within range help a lot as well.
3wyl does several regular news articles, they include:
Works to Check Out
Forgotten | My Wings II | the f'l'ail of Wings | Flourish | Inside
Thank you again 3wyl for taking the time to participate in this interview and for providing such great, in-depth answers.
If you'd would like to suggest a deviant for the next devFeature please send PennedPaper or AlecWolfe a note.