Interview with Nema Ruffalo

What-ho my old beans (I have decided that shall be my new greeting).

Today, I am once again trying something different to broaden my horizons, as well as helping out a friend.

So, as some of you will know, I have a profile on a site called Wattpad, which is basically a big story website where anyone can write stories.

My intention today, is to introduce a fairly prestigious writer upon there. I like to think that we are friends, plus I do admire her dedication and effort she puts into her stories. Therefore, I have asked her some questions and have received some answers.

Her name is Nemaiza (or Nema) Ruffalo, and she has written several stories, her most notable one being The Last of The Guardians. Without giving too much away, it is a Hobbit Fanfiction, which ties in closely with the film/movie version of the story. It is well worth a read.

Right, onwards to the questions:

Where did your idea for ‘The Last of the Guardians’ come from?

Well it was just after An Unexpected Journey first came out and I had recently discovered role-playing on Twitter. I wanted my character to be something new to Middle-Earth so I came up with the Guardians. It was just a small idea at first but the more I thought about it the more captivated I became by the idea. It got to the stage where I began thinking about the Guardians in the Hobbit timeline. I hadn’t ever written a fan fiction before but I thought it was a fun idea so I gave it a go and here we are!

Where did the character of ‘Nemaiza’ come from?

Well obviously the name is the same as mine so I would say she is a fairly accurate self-insertion. We are alike in appearance, as well as in our beliefs. As I’ve said before, I enjoy role-playing on Twitter so I really wanted to involve myself in the story.I spent about two weeks imagining little scenarios just to find the right fit for me in the story. I didn’t actually plan to make the story revolve so much around the Guardians but the more I wrote, the deeper I got into what the Guardians actually were and why they existed.

As for Nemaiza’s personality, it mostly stemmed from the desire to not make a Mary Sue character: so although she’s good looking, a skilled fighter, and compassionate, she does have flaws and she’s not always the hero. She’s not 100% fearless either.

Her appearance was based loosely around that of angels but I didn’t want to have too many religious connotations so I changed the name to Guardians, which I actually much prefer.

What influences you to write?

Turns out it’s mostly music. I’ve found that listening to ‘I See Fire by Ed Sheeran makes me want to write my Alternative Universe Hobbit fan-fiction (coming soon!). My readers, or fans if you want, are also a big influence over me; their comments make me want to write more just for them.

As for original works, anything can trigger an idea. I can see someone in the street and think of a few lines to describe them which I think is good practice. Or I can be in the middle of a test and an idea will hit me that I have to hold onto until I’ve finished. Now that’s an utter nightmare.

So really, anything influences me: strangers, fan comments, other novels, even abstract things like the way the sunlight hits the wall (when it’s actually sunny here…).

Do you set yourself deadlines and actually stick to them?

The main deadline that I set myself is the Friday Fan-Fiction update which I’m not bad at sticking to most of the time. My biggest challenge was last November when I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which the aim was to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I managed that and I’m pretty proud of it but writing is the only deadline I can stick to. School essays on the other hand, are not so easily achieved.

When did you first start writing stories for fun?

I think I was about five when we had to write a story in class about being abducted by aliens. I didn’t ever finish it because I’m awful at writing short stories; this bugged me, so I tried to keep writing it at home. I suppose that’s when I first got into creative writing. Plus, I was always making up stories about what we’d done at play group – one time I told my mum we had climbed a pylon while on a walk… She wasn’t impressed.

Finally, do you write a plan out before you start a story?

I’ve never actually planned a story that much before. When I was still considering writing a fan-fiction, my days consisted of thinking about the storyline, which actually took up pretty much every waking minute of the day. This continued until I had a rough idea for a plot. So I guess I have planned it, but every detail is in my head. However, my mental plan (in terms of in my head, not crazy…) does change a lot.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but quite a lot of the key events in both parts of TLOTG changed even as I was writing them. You’ll have to read it to find out these key events!

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And there you have it! That was my interview with Nema. Now, I implore you to go and read her stories – a link to her profile can be found here.

I wish thou all a joyous adventure in your respective lives (this is now my farewell line. Deal with it).

 

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