How important is research to you when writing a book?
I suppose it depends on what it is I’m writing. I make sure to know my stuff before I attempt to write it. For ‘The Valet,’ I already had a base knowledge of the 1920s and the period before. I’m a complete history nerd and love classical civilisations, as well as the periods between 1800s – 1940s. When I wrote ‘The Valet,’ I already knew a lot about servants and the sort of lives they lived because that world fascinates me.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
I always handwrite my first drafts. There’s something so free about writing with a pen, it makes my writing flow so naturally. So, I always do this and then type up later.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I have a very haphazard schedule. I always keep one free day on the weekend to dedicate to writing. I also write on two or three evenings after work. I take my laptop to my local coffee shop and smash out as many words as I can. It doesn’t produce the fastest results but it’s an improvement from my once a week schedule I used when writing ‘The Valet.’ I’m getting better at writing more frequently, and a lot faster on the days I do write too. I think it’s important for writers starting out to not worry about how long it’s going to take. As long as you keep going, you will finish!
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I know I shouldn’t, but I actually hate outlining. Instead, I get a basic plot, have a very rough idea of something that might happen in the next two to three chapters and just write. I’ve tried to make outlines or even just bullet points of ideas but it really stumps my flow and produces less interesting writing for me. What’s been working for me lately is just to write and then fix later.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding faith in yourself and believing that this is a story worth writing. After that, I always find the first edit terribly difficult too.
What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
The initial write! I love getting the first draft down on paper and barfing out all of my ideas. It’s something I do really, really quickly. Continue reading