Q&A Part 19: Writing Process (plus movie & music!)

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@ClutteredHead asks: what is your writing process? do you plan out the whole story before beginning i.e. when you start writing do you already have a complete outline of the plot and all the characters? or do you go with the flow? what do you like to read? Do you also like watching movies/TV shows etc.?if yes, which is your most favourite or what are you currently watching? Do you like listening to music while reading and writing? If yes, then what kind of music?

Writing Process:

It depends on the book. For a recent project, I outlined. It was a very loose outline--about a one page summary of what I wanted to happen. Then, as I was writing, I broke up the one page into "sections." I knew I wanted X to happen by page 50, for example, so I wrote to page fifty to get to that scene. I knew I wanted Y to happen by the middle, so I shot for that. It was an interesting and different way for me to write, and I'd not done that before. 

For A World Without You, I wrote a very skeletal draft--I think about 50k words? And then I worked with my editor on cutting and adding until the final draft, which is closer to 90k words. I didn't use an outline, I just free-wrote.

For Across the Universe, I wrote one chapter after another, editing a bit as I went, and the first draft was actually very close to what the final draft was. 

So in terms of outlines and process, it really does just depend on the book and the project. 

What I like to read:

When I'm drafting I tend to read the opposite of what I'm drafting. So if I'm writing something dark and heavy, I read light romances. When I want to write something fun and short, I read heavy historicals. I do read widely, and there's not a genre I haven't sampled!

What I like to watch:

I love TV and movies! I can never watch while I'm writing--it gives me a headache--but I like to have something playing in the background while I do social media or writing things like this. 

Favorite shows of all time: Firefly, Doctor Who, Inuyasha, Sailor Moon, Full Metal Alchemist

Favorite movies of all time: Star Wars, Serenity, Roman Holiday, Penelope, Moulin Rouge

What I like to listen to:

While writing, I tend to listed to the same handful of songs over and over and over and over and over again. Like, seriously, thousands of times. It helps me "zone out" and write. Ironically, while writing, I almost forget the songs entirely...I can't remember what I was listening to for A World Without You! But for my current project, I'm listening to the "Hamilton" soundtrack on repeat. I'm up to 800 plays on the songs. 

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