Hello there ladies and gentlemen! This is Hailey Sawyer here and welcome to my website’s About Me page!
How Did You Get into Writing?
I can’t quite remember the exact age when I got into writing. However, I remember writing a lot of short stories when I was a little kid and I really enjoyed doing that. I’d usually write on this type of paper where you had a few big spaces at the bottom of the page and the top half the paper would be blank to leave room for a drawing.
One of the short stories I remember writing as a kid was a story that was based on a dream my brother had when he was much younger. The dream involved him waking up one morning to discover that his neck was as long as a giraffe’s and he had to try and go through an entire day like this. I also remember my handwriting being really large and kind of messy but thankfully, it has dramatically improved over time!
What are Your Favorite Subjects to Write About?
Well, I’ll list my top three for you right here, right now!
One – Pokemon: I’ve been a fan of the Pokemon franchise since I was around the age of four. I was first introduced to Pokémon when my brother gave me his old Pokemon cards and my interest in Pokemon had grew ever since. I used to find a way to put Pokemon into my writing assignments when I was in elementary school. For example, I remember one time in school where we had to write our own versions of different fairy tales. I chose Snow White and The Seven Dwarves as my fairy tale. This tale was about seven Eevees who had to go and rescue Snow White. I structured this story like a Captain Underpants book since I was also really into those books as a kid. As the story progressed, some of the Eevees evolved into other Pokemon like Jolteon, Vaporeon, Flareon, Umbreon, and Espeon. Unfortunately, there were only five different Eeveelutions at the time I wrote this story so two of the seven Eevees didn’t evolve. Even today, my interest in the series has remained strong. In fact, I’m currently working on a Pokemon fan fiction titled Pokemon: Johto Quest and I even created an entire website for the series!
Two – Parodies of Fairy Tales/Aesop Fables: I think these are some of the most fun for me to write because it really allows my imagination to run wild. Whenever I write these types of stories, I always think back to some of Mel Brooks’ parody films like Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. When I think of these films, I notice that most of the time, they pick one source to parody and that gives them more time to develop jokes for it. With my parodies of fairy tales and Aesop fables, one story usually gives me enough comedic material for me to work with. I wrote a parody of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and uploaded it to this site if you’re interested in checking it out.
Three – Various Horror Related Topics: This is another topic that allows my imagination to run wild. For a while now, I’ve been very active on the Creepypasta Wiki. This wiki helped me grow an interest for horror stories (or Creepypastas as the wiki calls them) and I’m currently writing some of my own now.
What is Your Writing Process?
When it comes to writing a story, I usually start writing up a character sheet. These sheets include information about the character such as their appearance, role in the story, likes and dislikes, and I may put in a bit of plot summary so it makes writing up a skeleton draft of the plot much easier. To me, characters are the most important part of the story. If you don’t care about the characters (i.e you find them to be bland, boring, and/or unlikable), why would you want to read about what happens to them?
After all of the character sheets are written up, I move onto writing a basic plot outline (Skeleton Draft) for my story. This is a basic point for point layout about what may happen in the story. Sometimes when I’m writing, certain events may be different in my final draft then in my skeleton draft. For example, in the final draft, I may add detail to a certain part, remove something that doesn’t work, or rework the part in another way. If you’re writing and you forget a plot point in your story, you can always refer back to your skeleton draft.
An example of a skeleton draft can be seen here: http://pastebin.com/rxygzten
So You Said You’re Currently Working On a Creepypasta. What is a Creepypasta and Do You Have Any Favorites?
To put it simply, a Creepypasta is “an internet horror story, passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers.” As for favorite pastas, yes! Ever since I joined the Creepypasta Wiki in January of 2015, I’ve found quite a few pastas I really enjoy.
1. Down The Rabbit Hole (Written by LoVeLy_MoNsTeR): I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. I friggin love Alice in Wonderland! In fact, it’s one of my favorite stories of all time. So when I came across this pasta, I got excited, hoping that it would be just as good as the original story and it did not disappoint! The characters from the original Alice in Wonderland are all beautifully portrayed here because everybody is still mad in their own unique ways. Even when this story added new characters like the rats and the shadow, I didn’t mind them all that much because they fit into the world of Wonderland by acting like the rest of the residents of… well… Wonderland. While the story is heavily inspired by the original Alice in Wonderland and American McGee version, there are enough changes made to distinguish itself from them. However, the story still manages to be faithful to those versions in terms of tone and spirit.
2. Candle Cove (Written by Kris Straub): When it comes to good Lost Episode pastas, they’re very few and far between. I think this is because a lot of them tend to be poorly written, filled with clichés, and/or have little to no effort put into them. Thankfully, Candle Cove is one of the few really good Lost Episode pastas and for good reason. First off, the format it decides to use (that being a forum) is not only a somewhat unique idea (well, for this genre anyway) but it’s an idea that executed rather well. When it comes to forums, there are people who use proper grammar and there are people who don’t. Candle Cove clearly shows this and because of it, the story is given a sense of realism, which I think enhances the scares. While the story is rather short (it’s barely two thousand words long), it doesn’t feel rushed and actually takes its time to build up until the end of the story where it turns around and sucker punches the reader! Oh and by the way, there’s this new show on SyFy called Channel Zero and guess what? That’s right! Candle Cove had a six episode run on this show. To be honest though, I haven’t seen Channel Zero yet so I’m not sure how well the show adapts the pasta.
3. World’s Best School Psychologist (Written by CreepyCarbs): This a personal favorite of mine for one particular reason, that being the Dr. Tanner character. You see, it’s kind of rare to see an anti hero in a Creepypasta and it’s even rarer to see one done well. In the story, Dr. Tanner helps the protagonist solve his problem, albeit in unethical ways. This character could’ve easily been made into a straight up bad guy but the fact that this story avoids doing that is enough for me to give it some kudos.
4. Waken Farm (Written by Slimebeast): This is one of Slimebeast’s more obscure stories but honestly, I think it’s pretty damn good. You see, it’s one of those stories that has so many twists and turns. Even when you think a scene is going to play out a certain way, it soon goes in a completely different direction. To be honest, I had no idea where the story was going to go and thus, it made me want to keep reading to find out. That, in my eyes, is a sign of good storytelling!
Are There Any Areas of Writing That You Personally Struggle With?
As a writer, my biggest struggle has been (and still kind of is) writing dialogue, specifically when it comes to formatting it properly. You see, for the longest time, I used to write my dialogue like this:
(“Come on! Why can’t this thing stay on for more than five minutes?!” The girl growled. Suddenly, another girl named Beatrice entered the room and looked over at the other girl. “Need help?” Asked Beatrice.)
To the untrained eye, this might look like the correct way to format dialogue because both parts are from the same conversation. However, there are actually a few problems with the formatting here. For one thing, the dialogue in this example is kind of lumped together. What you’re actually supposed to do is space out the dialogue by adding one line per speaker. Here’s an example of what I mean:
(“Come on! Why can’t this thing stay on for more than five minutes?!” The girl growled. Suddenly, another girl named Beatrice entered the room and looked over at the other girl.
“Need help?” Asked Beatrice.)
Not only that but the following parts (“The girl said.” and “Asked Beatrice.”) are also wrong. These are examples of what I like to call “attributions”. After quotations, attributions should always be uncapitalized if it is still one sentence. In other words, it should look something like this: (“Come on! Why can’t this thing stay on for more than five minutes?!” the girl growled.”)
Thankfully I have gotten better with dialogue formatting but I still have a few more things to learn about it.