Gretchen McNeilToday, Gretchen McNeil is stopping by for a “How I Write” feature! I read her sophomore novel, TEN (click for review) not too long ago and you guys, it freaked me out, in the best possible way. Thanks so much to Gretchen for answering my questions!

About the author:

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown.  Her YA horror POSSESS debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011.  Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012, and her third novel 3:59, sci fi doppelganger horror is scheduled for Fall 2013.  Gretchen’s new YA contemporary series Don’t Get Mad (Revenge meets The Breakfast Club) begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Bazler + Bray.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk.  Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as “Monday.”

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Are you a planner (outline, etc.) or do you “pants” it?

Both? I usually outline the first act and have an idea of what the ending is going to be, but I usually let the story develop from there as I write.

Do you write daily or sporadically when you’re inspired?

When I start a project, I aim for 1000 words a day, at least five days a week. That keeps my momentum up, but also leaves room for having a life.

What time of day do you find you write best? Or you enjoy more?

Ideally, in the morning. But I’m currently still working a day job which means I do the majority of my writing at night before bed.

Do you have any writing quirks?

I don’t like desks or tables, so I usually write in bed, propped up with pillows, on my laptop. This is not particularly good for my back, but oh well.

What tool(s) do you use to write? Microsoft Word, Pages, Scrivener, typewriter, pen and paper, and/or napkins/toilet paper?

I’m a PC Microsoft Word kind of girl. I keep all my notes in Word as well.

How do you stay motivated?

If I hit a second of a novel that just isn’t working, or where I know something need to happen but I don’t know what, I skip it. I leave a note in the manuscript, highlighted in yellow, and move on. That way, I don’t get bogged down on a detail that might very well change once the whole manuscript is done.

What resources do you recommend for new writers?

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King totally saved me from…myself.

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? Or, what types of writing events have you participated in? What was your favorite?

Yes! I wrote most of POSSESS for NaNoWriMo in 2009. It was tough. I’m not sure I’d do it again, but hey, the book turned out okay!

Books by Gretchen McNeil:

More “How I Write” Q&As!

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2 Responses to Gretchen McNeil: How I Write

  1. […] real” authors spend their days. Kurt Vonnegut liked to watch heart-breaking movies and Gretchen McNeil (author of the YA horror novels) writes in […]

  2. fakesteph
    Twitter: fakesteph

    I have plenty of tables to write at, but I always end up writing in bed, too.
    fakesteph recently posted..What I’m Reading: School EditionMy Profile

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