20 facts about my writing process

1. It takes a long time for me to write. An hour per page is pretty standard.

2. I write better if I have brief distractions, such as looking up a word in the online thesaurus or changing my writing music. Anything much longer, however, and I can’t get back into it.

3. Accountability is huge – having a writing partner who expects a chapter by a certain deadline has done wonders.

4. My critiquer friend says the punctuation mark I overuse is the long dash. I personally think I also overuse the ellipsis.

5. During NaNoWriMo they tell you just to write – good words, bad words, and ugly words – but I can’t. If I know I’ve been writing badly, I have to fix it or I get progressively worse.

6. I’ve started several books that aren’t fantasy, but I rarely finish them.

7. One of my favourite parts of writing is breaking the so-called “rules”.

8. I hate writing in public places because I always feel like someone’s looking over my shoulder and reading what I’m working on.

9. I absolutely love putting new twists on genre cliches.

10. I can’t begin a new book without a basic middle plotted out. Without that, I’m almost certain to burn out.

11. I share each new chapter with my group of best friends, all of whom are also writers. (Actually, it’s weird because my new friends often turn out to be writers without my having known it at first.)

12. Ideas come from ANYWHERE. Crazy, random, stupid, epic ideas.

13. Working with other writer friends, brainstorming and writing together, is amazing.

14. For each book I work with just one music album and change it up for the next book. (Starscape was written to the soundtrack from Return of the King, Seascape to Two Steps from Hell’s Skyworld and Two Steps from Heaven.) I generally can’t reuse previous albums because they remind me too much of the books I wrote to them.

15. I get super excited about my own stories.

16. I can feel my writing improve with each new book I write.

17. I almost always end up chewing on my tongue whilst I work. (I hate chewing on my tongue.)

18. I love drawing my own maps, with all their intricacies (and maps don’t overtax my minimal drawing skills, and probably actually improve them).

19. If I’m in the mood to accomplish a lot of writing, I often end up writing for the entire afternoon.

20. Whilst I’m working on one book, I’ve probably got well-worked-out plots for at least the next two.

Bonus: Writing is the best job in the world.


4 thoughts on “20 facts about my writing process

  1. An interesting read, Benita!

    I’m a strong believer in writing when not writing. For me, I might spend an entire half-day thinking about my story (sometimes wracked by guilt for not actually writing) and then – BANG – an idea pops into my head about what I need to do with it. What follows can only be best described as time travel. I sit down to frantically scribble/type notes, conversations, twists, random words and when next I look up, the clock appears to have sneakily jumped forward by an alarming amount (I’m still waiting for the day when it turns back).

    Those are some of my most productive moments. I often wonder if I would have had the same ideas had I not stepped back from the page/screen? I like to envisage my muse (a leather-jacket clad, whisky drinking, version with a penchant for cold pizza and playing Voodoo Child on a loop) kicking in my door and shaking her head at my lack of progress. Then she’ll sit cross-legged on my table and coax me with leading questions until I find the answers I always knew (before helping herself to my fridge and whatever spirit I happen to have on hand).

    Ah, there’s the door now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Regarding not writing and then having an idea and needing to get it down, I am so much the same! Unfortunately, for me it will often be a good deal more than a half-day. :/ I do agree that many people likely write far better and more creatively for taking breaks. It’s pretty easy to slog away at it in the name of getting work done, but in the end turn out a mediocre, boring product.


  2. Very interesting Benita. Only about half of your facts apply to how I write. 🙂 The important thing is to find what works for you and do it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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