This week, Figment is proud to present 15-year-old Tulsi (a.k.a. Charlotte Hennessey), proud South Carolinian, prolific poet, and collector of random objects. Oh, and her supernerd cape is way cooler than yours.
Know a Fig who should be featured here? Tell us about him or her. Interviews may be edited and condensed.
How did you first get into Figment?
Lisi Harrison hosted a contest on Figment, and I was shocked that I hadn’t discovered such an extensive realm for writers!
You’ve responded to a bunch of Figment’s Daily Themes. Which prompt has been the most helpful to you as a writer so far, and if you could receive a prompt from any author, who would it be?
This prompt: “Set a scene during the set-up for an elaborate event (like a feast, a ceremony, a press conference). During the set-up, something goes terribly, terribly wrong. Your narrator is in the center of the action but not a part of it (though he or she may have witnessed this type of event before).”
It helped me because I found myself going places I’ve never been as a writer. Normally I write poems, ranging from deep and sad to dreamy and quirky. This prompt made me write something like a short story, and it included characterization and description that I’m not used to thinking about. It was like making small talk with an acquaintance, and next time, it will be more like a conversation.
If I could receive a prompt from any author, it would be Jenny B. Jones because her writing style and voice are phenomenal. Her characters have so much depth and charisma, and her books are like a warm cup of yummy hot chocolate. Also, I love the way she makes me want to be part of the fictional world she creates. Her prompt would be really inspiring.
On your profile page, you self-identify as a N-E-R-D. If you were a “supernerd” and wore a cape as part of your super-nerdy ensemble, how would you decorate it and what would it look like?
Firstly, it would be reversible. Side one: shiny/silvery black cape with neon microorganisms moving around. Side two: plasma. Haven’t seen live plasma? You haven’t lived yet.
You are an amazing poet. How do you manage to write about emotion without succumbing to clichés or cheesiness? Any advice for aspiring poets?
I take what’s inside of me and try my hardest to put it in words. All the personal emotion I pour onto paper makes it unique.
Avoid using phrases that are commonly used; make them your own. For example: “I love him so much it hurts. Why did he have to leave me?” Ew. Suggestion: “When he left, I was like a fish out of water. Gasping for breath. Grasping at the last strands of life.” I also tend to use strong verbs, metaphors, similes, and personification to make my point come across in a different way.
What’s your weirdest/most unique hobby?
Weirdest . . . collecting hotel key cards. I have a collection of at least two hundred. I also obsessively collect paint sample cards from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Buckets full of them. I am also obsessed with doodling pictures of crayons, making jewelry, and painting my nails.
So, you have the “Critic” badge, which means you’ve written 30 reviews. What do you keep in mind when reviewing Figs’ work, and what do you want from someone else’s review of your work?
I always analyze what pulls me in and prompts me to read the story. Intense description, imagery, and figurative language stand out to me. Characterization and non-cliché plot details are also considered.
I would want someone to tell me one thing they liked/disliked, a reason, and a suggestion for improvement.
Of all your Daily Themes responses, which is your favorite, and would you ever continue it?
“Misery of Mortality” is my favorite because it is a personal story that relates to me, and I was honest with myself in a way I haven’t been before. I describe a certain fear that needs answering. Seeing it on paper makes it more real. And, once I experience the answers, I will definitely continue it.
Want to get in on the Daily Themes that Tulsi loves? Sign up now and receive a prompt in your inbox every weekday through March. Don’t worry if you missed the first two weeks! You can catch up on week one and week two right now, and remember to keep a lookout for prompts from your favorite authors.