Today, Trish Doller, author of Something Like Normal (click for my review, I LOVED it), is stopping by for a “How I Write” feature! Thanks so much to Trish for participating!
Are you a planner (outline, etc.) or do you “pants” it?
I am a pantser. I generally have an idea of how the story will flow to point A to point Z, but I try to let my characters guide me to their stories.
What time of day do you find you write best? Or you enjoy more?
I seem to write best in the afternoon. On days when I’m not at the bookstore, I get my internet business done in the morning, then spend the afternoon writing. I also like late nights when I know I don’t have to go to work the next day.
What kind of mood are you typically in when you write (happy, sad, etc.)?
I’d say I’m usually happy when I write, but sometimes a really good melancholy can draw words out of me.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I like sitting on my couch. I’ll move from one end of the couch to the other, or maybe migrate to the love seat, but my living room furniture is comfy. Once in awhile I’ll meet up with a local writing partner at a coffeehouse, but I’m not a big fan of writing in public.
What resources do you recommend for new writers?
I don’t really have any resource advice for writing, but for writers looking to be published I can’t stay enough about the blueboards at verlakay.com. Not only is the camaraderie great, but there are tons and tons of useful topic threads, ranging from publishers accepting submissions to how long it takes a certain agent to respond. I’d also recommend the Water Cooler forums at Absolute Write. And for writing query letters, I love The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-Thomas.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received for writing?
After I’d finished my first manuscript, I wondered how I was supposed to know if it was polished enough–if it was ready–for agents. So I emailed Maureen Johnson and asked her. I don’t know what possessed me to do that, because I didn’t know her, but I did it anyway. And she told me there’s no real answer. Sometimes you just have to jump. I think that advice applies to everything. Writing about something that scares or challenges you. Deciding that your manuscript is ready for submission. Or even getting started when you’ve wanted to be a writer forever. Jump!
Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? Or, what types of writing events have you participated in? What was your favorite?
I participated in NaNoWriMo when I wrote my first manuscript, a romantic road trip YA called My Way or the Highway. However, I didn’t WIN. What I learned from NaNoWriMo is that there is no way I can write a novel in thirty days, but the novel I started was something I loved so much that I didn’t want to quit when the thirty days were over. I kept writing until it was finished–about eight months later–and it was that manuscript that brought me together with my agent.