Each week we will be featuring one member for their outstanding contributions to the Figment community.
This week we’re featuring Alex Black! Check out five of her stories along with her interview questions below!
What do you enjoy most about Figment and its community?
- Personally I really like the people on Figment. Whenever you need someone to make you a cover, review a story, or anything really, there is always someone out there who is willing to help. Everyone on Figment is so nice, and so willing to help, it makes the overall experience quite enjoyable.
What is your favorite story that you have shared on Figment and why?
- My favourite story that I have shared on Figment is probably “A City From Ashes”. The story behind the making of this piece is actually quite interesting. In my drama class, we were told to select a story that happened to us at least one year ago. I chose a story about an experience I had in the seventh grade, where I was mocked for various reasons in front of the whole class. My drama teacher then told us to embellish the story, to make it our own but to make it different. I really don’t know why, but the first place my brain went was: “I want to make this dystopian!” So, I followed my heart and created this dystopian world, a world where people who were different were treated differently, like I was. While the story is similar to my initial experience, I’ve changed it, and there will be more changes that did not happen in my life at all throughout the piece. The characters are all based off of someone from the original story, and so far, they’re all holding very true to those people. Overall, “A City From Ashes” is my favourite story of mine because of where the idea originated from, and also I’ve been able to create my own world, plus really get creative!
Where do you find inspiration to write and keep writing?
- My inspiration usually comes from everyday life. Many of the things I write, touch into real life problems experienced by people today, or in the past. Often my stories circle around teenage feelings and some sort of other event, such as: terminal illness, war, etc. So, often my inspiration comes from reading the newspaper and watching the news, or even a time period I take interest in in social studies class. On the other hand, my poems all come from emotions I’ve experienced, or are currently experiencing. I just feel that poetry comes from more than just words that rhyme. All of my poetry comes from my heart, as do some concepts of my longer stories as well. Even things like colours can spark a poem here and there, or maybe a song, or the weather outside!
What is the last book that you read?
- The last book that I read was “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. I’ve read the book already twice before, but I truly do love it. The idea behind it is so interesting to me. I’m the type of person who really gets attached to books and wants to understand the purpose of every word, and the way that The Help is written is truly brilliant and the writing has a purpose. I feel that some of the teen fiction we find today, doesn’t seem to have a purpose, whereas books like The Help do. The way that Kathryn Stockett writes, brings the pages and characters to life is so amazing, and really grabs your attention by the nose!
Do you have any advice for other Figgies looking to improve their writing?
- So the number one piece of advice I give when reviewing other peoples’ pieces is: Read your story out loud! This is may seem to be challenging if you have a thirty three paged piece, but believe me, through hearing your piece you pick up on everything! Not only do you pick up on run on sentences, but also things like punctuation, awkward wording, repetition, predictable sentence structure and even common typos. Another piece of advice I give to everyone who looks to improve your writing is to get a second opinion. After posting a story, go around to a manageable number of figs and ask for a swap. Hopefully, you’ll receive some awesome, constructive criticisms to work with. When people give you feedback, don’t take it as an offense to your writing, certain people just have trained eyes for grammar, or wording, or whatever it may be. When you get feedback, be proactive and work on it, this is honestly the best way to improve your writing. You learn so much from the criticisms you get, and end up not making the same mistakes anymore!
Congratulations again, Alex and thank you for sharing talent, inspiration and advice with us! Be sure to check out some of her work below.
It’s the future. Everyone looks and dresses the same. Everything looks the same. Everything is controlled. Ruby White doesn’t look like the “normal” Upper Crust girl. Those like Ruby are called Quirks. Soon everything in the Upper Crust changes. Quirks are sectioned off to live in separate living spaces, and are told when to do everything. When Ruby defies the rules, she is sent to the Lower Crust– A world below The Upper Crust that no one has ever come back from. Ruby learns along the way that the society has secrets, secrets that could change the life she lives.
Poem about being caught in the middle all the time with no one there to help. I have a collection of these on the way, this is the first one.
Christi is living in Germany during the second world war. Her family is struggling financially and decide to hide a Jewish boy in their basement. Christi is stiff about the idea, but eventually finds herself falling in love with him. Christi and Nik find themselves madly in love, but many issues and ‘bumps’ hit their relationships and her family is at risk and her relationship are at risk.
Stephanie Rose Johnson is 16, she’s just your average teenager. But, she has cystic fibrosis, when a special boy, and her brother, help her realize that she can’t just sit around waiting for death to come along, she creates a bucket list. But, her overbearing mother is standing in their way. So they set off together, Steph, Sam and Noah, to complete her bucket list!
Congratulations again, Alex!
Let us know who you think should be our next Featured Fig!
– The Figment Team