- Why don't you write about (subject that has nothing to do with your projects)? You'd be really good at it. (I could do a horror story about dry socket, too, but I have no inclination to do that, either.)
- Why don't you do ___ with your character? (This generates one of two responses: a) because that's idiotic, or b) great idea, but now I can't do it because you'd demand to 'split the profits'. Ain't happening.)
- You based this character on me, didn't you? (Trust me, if I did, you wouldn't have to ask. I've written roman à clef before. I give 'tells'. Like a character who thinks everything is about her.)
- You based this character on (other friend or relative), didn't you? (See above. However, if it makes you happy to think I've zinged Uncle Fred, go ahead.)
- Why do you bother writing? You're never going to make any money at it. (Neither does watching TV, drinking, or smoking. In other words, f--k off.)
- Haven't you finished that book yet? (DAMN YOU TO HELL!)
Perhaps I should talk about annoying questions writers get from other writers next. Unfortunately, I'm probably the asker.
Another question that came up in the comments from the first article: You're a writer? Where have you been published? Naturally, not all writers are published authors. This doesn't mean they're not writers, it just means they don't have published works yet.
I don't have a snappy answer for this one. Do you know why? Because I rarely told people outside the writing community of my ambitions until I was published. I received too many negative comments about wanting to be a writer while I was growing up. As an adult, I didn't spring that little secret on non-writers without something to show for it. By the time I 'came out' as an author at work, I'd edited two Pagan newsletters, received some local recognition as a political blogger, and had several published stories.
I salute the unpublished writers who are willing to 'go public' and deal with this last question. You're braver than I am. Might I suggest that you simply tell them that you're still revising your novel?