Featured Fig: Lorem Ipsum

What makes Figment Figment? Well, there are forums and blog posts and writing groups and featured books. But what really makes this place special are all of you Figs. So you should get some love.

This week we’re featuring Lorem Ipsum (aka Pooja Kini), a fabulous fourteen-year-old writer from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Know a Fig who should be featured here? Send an email to admin@figment.com and tell us about him or her. Interviews may be edited and condensed.

Which mythical creature would you most like to have as a pet and why?

A hippogriff, definitely. I mean, think about it; I’d technically be flying. Not sure what to name it yet, however . . .

You enter a lot of contests. What has been your favorite so far?

Hmm . . . that is a hard one. I’d have to say the Angel Fire contest because I found using so much personification and figurative language loads of fun. Writing from that perspective was an excellent experience.

[Editor’s Note: In the Angel Fire contest, we asked entrants to write a story in which a traditionally good person or creature is evil, or in which a traditionally evil person or creature is good. You can read Lorem’s winning entry here.]

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

Asleep. Snoring. At least my body is. My subconscious, on the other hand, is attending night school at Hogwarts.

A lot of your covers are created by other Figs. Any advice for someone trying to reach out for collaboration on Figment?

Definitely go to the cover forum and ask for a cover. A few Figs will certainly post covers and you will see one that you like. After a few rounds of these posts in the forums, you’ll have a few people in mind whose style you like, and then you can ask one of them anytime for a cover.

The key is, basically: talk to people. Make friends, and get to know them. After that, all you need to do is ask.

When you start a new piece, what are your first steps?

A lot of the times I begin a story, it’s by thinking of a specific word. This one word gives me all kinds of ideas, and I simply think around it to form the plot, characters, setting, and all the other components. I tend to start out thinking of the path the story will take in my mind, imagining it like a movie. I form the first sentence and from there I just start writing.

It’s clear that you’re a Harry Potter fanatic. Do you have a favorite scene or line?

Yes, you’ve got that right. Oh, they’re all so brilliant I cannot choose but here are a few of my favorites.

Lavender Brown: Oh Professor, look! I think I’ve got an unaspected planet! Oooh, which one’s that, Professor?
Professor Trelawney: It is Uranus, my dear.
Ron Weasley: Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?
(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, pg. 44)

Ginny Weasley: What about you and Lavender, thrashing about like a pair of eels all over the place?
(Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, pg. 536)

and of course . . .

Dumbledore: After all this time, Severus?
Snape: Always.
(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pg. 687)

Which literary character are you most like and why?

I swear I’m the reincarnation of Bellatrix Lestrange. It’s rather terrifying. We’ve got a similar, er . . . cackle? Hair? Sadistic, um . . . tendencies?

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

Fantasy and science fiction to both read and write. I enjoy being transported into mythical and futuristic worlds through literature.

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

Definitely from my idol, J.K. Rowling. It was indirect yet I took it:

“When I write the books, I really do write them for me. Very often I get asked, ‘Who do you have in mind when you write? Is it your daughter or is it the children you’ve met?’ No. It’s for me. Just for me. I’m very selfish: I just write for me. So the humor in the books is really what I find funny.” January Magazine, October 2000.

From that, I learnt to write for myself and to write about what I enjoy writing/reading. I don’t do it for the enjoyment of the public, I do it for me. It may seem selfish, but really that’s how you get the best work out of your piece. You’ve got to love what you’re doing.

You wrote a poem titled, “Anima Musicale.” Do you have musical ambitions? Do you listen to music while you write?

I adore music, and I play three instruments: the piano, violin, and viola. I do in a way have musical ambitions, as I’d like to be recognized for my singing and piano in some way. I definitely do listen to music while I write. It sets the mood for my stories quite well.

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