1) Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’m a trained screenwriter and work as a script editor now, so spend all day with screenplays. On this basis, I have to be a plotter – I don’t know any different! I get everything done a LOT quicker if I know what actually needs doing. In my work, I’ve seen waaaay too many writers get lost inside drafts without direction. That’s not to say pantsers don’t exist or get stuff done, of course they do, but I bet many writers would save themselves a lot of heartache if they did the foundation stuff first. I’ve even seen writers lose heart and give up altogether sometimes, it’s a real shame when we consider the solution is obvious.
2) Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them if they are particularly good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I’ve been a writer a long time now, so feel like I have a pretty thick skin (you need it!). I do read my reviews and as long as they’re constructive or obviously down to personal judgement, then that’s fine. No one HAS to like my work! I do get annoyed when there’s an obvious agenda behind a review, but I never respond. Besides, that’s what the ‘not helpful’ button is for! 😉
3) What is your least favourite part of the writing/publishing process?
Writing the first draft I such a slog, I hate that bit of the writing process. It feels like pulling teeth. I would father rather be rewriting pages, I enjoy tweaking and re-structuring and moving scenes around. I absolutely hate changing tenses or POVs. That’s really dull. In terms of the publishing process, the waiting is hard. Nothing seems to happen for ages and ages … and then suddenly they want everything YESTERDAY!
4) What are your favourite and least favourite types of scenes to write?
I like to plan – I find it soothing. When it comes to non-fiction, transcribing interviews is hard work and can be frustrating, especially when you don’t even end up using the content! But nothing is every wasted, it’s always interesting to hear what people have to say.
5) If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could somehow DREAM a fully written and edited manuscript into being, that would be brilliant. I’d have a whole library of books done by now!
This article originally appeared at Ali The Dragon Slayer