Each week we will be featuring one member for their outstanding contributions to the Figment community.
This week we’re featuring Maria Rae! Check out five of their stories along with their interview answers below!
What do you enjoy most about Figment and its community?
- I like meeting writers from different parts of the world and learning from them. So far, my best experiences have been with a fellow Figgy in Belgium and another in India. I don’t make friends very easily so I really appreciate them and all the help they’ve given me. I also competed in the first ‘Figgy Idol’ group competition. It was pretty difficult but I loved seeing what other writers made of the prompts, and I ended up placing second over-all.
What is your favorite story that you have shared on Figment and why?
- My novel, ‘Magic in the Machine’. While I get a lot more enthusiasm from readers for my short stories, I’ve been working on MitM (on and off) for probably longer than the average Figment user has been alive. No jokes, I started it back in 2002 in high school and it’s grown and changed with me. So, because I’ve poured so much of myself into it and in turn it’s influenced me in so many ways, it feels much more like a part of me than my other stories.
Where do you find inspiration to write and keep writing?
- A lot of easy inspiration comes from watching/reading other speculative fiction. I always think “How would I write that type of scenario…?” and “What would I change?” etc. But I find greater inspiration when I get to be out in the countryside, close to nature. Maybe it sounds counter-intuitive for a sci-fi writer but I grew up in a rural area so that’s where I find peace. When I’m relaxed, inspiration comes all on its own.
What is the last book that you read?
- The last book I tried was a terrible misadventure that I won’t go into, but since then I’ve started on ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert. I tried reading it back when I was about 14 or so, and it was way over my head, but now I can safely say it’s one of my favourite books of all time.
Do you have any advice for other Figgies looking to improve their writing?
- The hardest lessons I had to learn came from pouring months or even years into a project only for it to crash and burn. I got so caught up in the creative process that I didn’t have time for fundamental skills. So, for best results, study the technical aspects of story-telling, like world-building and plot-structure and the like, but also start small. A 5,000-word short story is much easier to get feedback on and improve than a 300,000-word grand epic!
Congratulations again and thank you for sharing your talent, inspiration and advice with us! Be sure to check out some of their work below.
Let us know who you think should be our next Featured Fig!
– The Figment Team