Time for another interview! Today, we’re talking with Sarah Shafer.
Month of the Novel: What’s your role in Month of the Novel?
Sarah Shafer: Primarily I was an actress and screenwriter. I also filled in various odd jobs.
MotN: From what you’ve seen of the scripts, what do you like about Season 2?
SS: I like how the ongoing storyline is stronger and more cohesive than last year. We have some fun stuff in this year’s scripts, plus we get to play with science-fiction…
MotN: Do you have a favorite episode from Season 1? If you had to pick based on the scripts, which episode of Season 2 do you think will be your new favorite? (You can pick your own.)
SS: Obviously The Talent Show was special to me, but setting that aside, I would say The Trap. The inescapable wall of doom!
MotN: How about a favorite character from Season 1? Is your favorite the same this season, or have your loyalties changed?
SS: My favorite character from Season One would be the Heir. My favorite from Season Two is the Captain.
MotN: Now, of course, Month of the Novel isn’t the only thing you do. What else are you up to?
SS: Some of my current hobbies are school (okay, so that’s not a hobby), playing piano, writing music, and working on various creative projects such as novels or screenplays.
MotN: Season 2 is going to be sci-fi themed. What do you like about the science fiction genre? Do you have a favorite sci-fi book or movie?
SS: I enjoy the old Star Wars trilogy. And I love Inception and The Avengers, if those count as sci-fi. What do I like about science-fiction? Um. It’s fun? You get the opportunity to be high-tech and use your fantastical imagination at the same time. Plus, lightsabers. I mean, come on. Lightsabers.
MotN: What’s your process for writing an episode of Month of the Novel? Does it differ from your process for writing other things?
SS: I guess the biggest difference is that I’m writing for other people instead of just doing it for fun. So I need to meet deadlines, revise as needed, and use a pre-determined storyline and characters.
Most everything I write begins with a sudden tumble of ideas, images, and vague feelings. They sort of lock together into an “inciting incident” or the heart of the story or episode or poem or whatever, and the rest is filling in details.
MotN: What’s the hardest part about writing for Month of the Novel?
SS: Maybe having predetermined parameters for my episode, such as regarding the characters and plot. I’m used to having total creative freedom when I write, and being able to change directions if I get a new idea.
MotN: How about the best part?
SS: It’s a good experience to work with other people, get feedback, and actually see your work made into a film. Plus the enjoyment of collaborating and being part of the project.
MotN: Where do you draw your inspiration?
SS: Reading books, watching movies, talking with other writers, living, praying, thinking… And I’m pretty sure listening to Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show as a kid didn’t help to kill my sense of humor.
MotN: Have you ever done NaNoWriMo yourself? What was your experience with it?
SS: Mostly I’ve just done a couple of NaNo knockoffs in the summertime. I don’t think I ever got over 35k. I did unofficially win Script Frenzy last year, though. I write screenplays much faster than novels.
MotN: Just for fun, do you have a favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
SS: Extreme Moosetracks Ice Cream. Um, yes.
MotN: Is there something positively unique about you that you could tell us?
SS: I can juggle. And I have a goldfish named George—thanks to Month of the Novel, actually… But I won’t give away spoilers.
If you want to find out more about Sarah, you can check out her blog, Boomerang Fish.