Featured Fig: Madeleine Richardson Graham

NaNo-Figs, you’ve all been working tirelessly to meet your daily word quotas, loading up on caffeine to stay alert into the wee hours of the night, bribing yourselves with chocolate to make the pain well worth it, and thinking wistfully of December 1, when it will all be over, and you’ll have a novel in your hands.

Until that fine day, and because we can’t Wonka a cup of coffee into your expectant hands, we’re featuring one NaNo-Fig a week to inspire you (and to help you procrastinate just a bit). This week, we’ve got 13-year-old Madeleine Richardson Graham (a.k.a. Vee Weasley) , a Pennsylvanian whose NaNo entry (“NaNoWriMo“) is just one of her 41 published books on Figment.

Describe your inspiration for your NaNo story.

My NaNo story . . . Oh my NaNo story! I started outlining about a month or so in advance (when I actually first heard about NaNo!) and I planned out intricate characters and their relationships, but by Halloween night, I realized: I still didn’t have a plot! Actually, I still don’t have a plot, but I’m just kind of . . . writing. It’s about a girl named Victoria Black who came from my Harry Potter role-play, and who I became quite attached to. In the role-play, she was related to Sirius Black, but I put her in my NaNo story as the same base for the people, but non-magical. I just knew Victoria so well that I knew I had to write a story with her in it.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

The best writing advice I’ve ever received was from my dad. I was lazing about on my bed, and he asked me if I’d met my daily quota yet. Um . . . No. He told me to go sit in my closet and just write, even though I had no ideas. Just write and write and write, it doesn’t matter if it’s crappy, just write. Editing is for later, just write. I grudgingly accepted the advice, and I actually passed my quota that day!

What is your writing schedule like?

On school days, I usually get home from school, attempt to do my homework, and then start writing. I usually end up writing until about midnight, which, as I learned today, really isn’t good for my non-writing schedule. On weekends and days off, I sit in my closet that I stuck an elderly, Internet-less computer in, and attempt to write all day. And I sometimes procrastinate by having a random twitcast or a dance break.

If you were going to pick a “NaNo Dance Break” song, what would it be and why?

I’ve put together a whole NaNo playlist on my iPod, which I have listened to so many times I’ve gotten sick of it! But when I really want a break, I, um . . . listen to a song from the Sweeney Todd soundtrack and dance around and pretend to make pies. I have a slight obsession!

Which literary character are you most like and why?

Oooooh! This is hard! Everyone asks me this, and I just don’t know. There are so many amazing characters that I wish I was like! It would be quite fun to say Bellatrix Lestrange, because she’s really quite insane, like me. Insanity is fun! But, y’know . . . She kills a lot of people. Which I don’t. Outside of stories.

Fill in the blank: “At 2 a.m., I’m most likely . . .”

At 2 a.m., I am most likely attempting to fall asleep, but instead I have thousands of little words running through my head that want to be made into a story, but just can’t put themselves together. It is a very bad thing to have happen when you want enough sleep to write 1,667 words the next day.

You have written an astounding number of books on Figment. How do you keep yourself motivated to write?

I love writing so much, it is a bit of an obsessive hobby, but also, I want to be an author. Sometimes writing is hard, sometimes I get stuck, but I just have to keep pushing and writing more, because it helps me to get better. Another thing that motivates me to write is chocolate. I don’t think that really needs an explanation . . .


Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? Join Figment’s official NaNo Group to participate in adrenaline-filled writing sprints, tag your story nanowrimo11 to get a spiffy new badge, and scribble away!

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