A Day in the Writing Life of … Daniel de Lorne

Today we feature Daniel de Lorne who has kindly agreed to share a day in his writing life. 

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write and why.        I write paranormal male/male stories with romantic elements. Ever since I can remember I’ve had a fascination with the gothic and otherworldly. And for probably just as long, I’ve known I was gay so it’s just a natural synergy.

What time of the day do you write?      While I’d love to write early in the morning, I’m just not able to focus until after I’ve had a shower and breakfast and by that time there are other things to be getting on with. Because I work during the day, most of my writing is in the evening. If it’s a weekend, I’ll write during the day.

Where do you write?      I’m lucky enough to have my own study, complete with book shelves and a couch, a desk and a computer. It’s not particularly inspiring but it’s a place to go and get some words done. Occasionally I’ll relocate to other parts of the house on a laptop but I find there are more distractions (like, when was the last time I cleaned the oven?).

Are you a plotter/planner or a pantser?     I’m a bit of both but I lean more towards a pantser. I’ll start with a general idea of what’s got to happen when and scribble down a few notes (or make cards in Scrivener) and then write to that. I find, however, that as I go new ideas pop up which must be explored so I go off in another direction. I usually don’t regret it.

Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?     Definitely edit at the end. When I write I have to get the words down as quickly as possible so my first draft has big patches of dialogue, some description and some action (and then a lot of exposition trying to explain some tricky logic about why the character would do such a thing). If I edited as I went, I’d agonise over the tiniest things and that would cripple me. Consequently, my first drafts – and my second and third – are pretty scrappy but with each revision it gets closer to something I’m proud to call my own.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?      At the moment I’m not all that disciplined with my writing time. I have a habit of booking myself up with other things. When I do make the time, usually the only goal I set is to write for five minutes. If I tell myself that’s all I have to do, then I feel it’s not such a big deal and just do it. Of course, I usually don’t stop at just five because I get in the zone pretty quickly so I’ll clock at least twenty or thirty minutes before I have a break. I find saying to myself, “Just write for five minutes” is a useful mantra if I’m ever procrastinating from writing. Who can’t write for five minutes? I find that the pain of not doing something usually outweighs the pain of doing it. I wish I was a bit more scheduled and could stick to a routine.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc?     Often I’ll stop writing when I get to the end of a scene because I don’t want to interrupt the flow of ideas. That could be about twenty or thirty minutes. I’m a fast typer and because I don’t care about a clean draft I can get down at least a thousand words in half an hour. Once that’s done, I’ll stop, flick through Facebook or go and grab a drink or watch TV – depending on how I feel I’ve gone for the day.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?

  1. The cat – often she’ll sit on the desk in front of me or lie on my lap. A bit distracting, particularly when she attacks my arm.
  2. My phone – bad to have so near. Shouldn’t do it.
  3. Computer – always there and ready to go
  4. Pen and paper – sometimes I just have to scribble things down
  5. Shelves full of books – I’ve read them all but rarely open them now. They look a bit cluttered but they’re nice to look at (just not too closely because of the dust).

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      I’d say it’s in between. It depends what mood I’m in. If I’m stuck on something, I’ll blitz clean the desk and clear it of everything. This is both a positive and a negative. Positive because it’s clean and clear. Negative because I end up spending time filing and paying bills when I should be writing.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?      The internet. Such a pain. Honestly, Facebook doesn’t change that much yet I check it often. When I’m suitably annoyed with myself, I shut down everything except Scrivener and find I can focus.

What’s the last thing you do before you finish your daily writing session?     Check the word count and post it to Twitter. I was wary of doing this at first. I’m not expecting praise back or want people to think I’m good but I find the public affirmation makes me focus on what I’ve achieved rather than on how much I haven’t done.

To learn more about Daniel & his writing please visit : www.danieldelorne.com

Winner – Stroke of Midnight 2012 (paranormal/time travel) – The Beckoning Blood

Thanks you, Daniel, for participating on our blog and congratulations on your recent win with Passionate Ink writing chapter contest. We wish you all the best in your writing career.

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17 Comments

  1. kezp

     /  September 28, 2012

    I hear you on the FB distraction :(

    I write like you – I have to get the words down and go back and edit at the end. I’m in the editing phase atm and am finding notes to myself through the ms like “Why would she do this?” and “Check the timeline – this seems to have been a very long day”!

    Congrats again on the contest win.

    Reply
  2. I hear you on the dust and the oven! I love your ‘just do it for five minutes’ mantra. Sounds like an excellent procrastination-buster. Congratulations on your competition win! Here’s to many more successes!

    Reply
  3. Great interview. I’m going to try the ‘write for five minutes’ technique! Often I think if I can’t get at least a good half hour it’s not worth it, but better to get something down than nothing. (and once I start I have trouble stopping!)
    My cat bites my arm too when I’m at my computer. Sometimes I have to lock him out of the office, though he knows how to open the door so I have to put something heavy against it! :)

    Reply
    • Definitely a different mindset. And usually five minutes is a good trick to get into and you find you don’t stop for a while.

      I wish our cat had figured out how to open the door because otherwise she just sits on the other side meowing. Loudly. And constantly. Very distracting.

      Reply
      • Cats are cute but demanding creatures, that’s for sure. Mine is always hungry and likes company when he eats, which means lots of trips to the food bowl in the garage for me.
        He’s become quite smart with opening doors, now if only he could do some editing for me… ;)

  4. Write for five minutes sounds so useful … almost as good as my desperation tactics: I unplug the internet!

    Reply
  5. Carmen

     /  September 28, 2012

    Right! That’s enough internet for me. Time to write… for five minutes. :)
    Thanks Daniel. Great post.

    Reply
  6. fitzroylou

     /  September 28, 2012

    Great to see you featured on the blog, Daniel. Procrastination by housework is terrible. Stuff I would sail past without batting an eyelid all of a sudden becomes critical when the alternative is writing. It’s a curse.

    Reply
  7. Okay Dan, so you don’t care for a clean draft – just a clean oven!!!!!! Love it :))

    Reply
  8. Another night time writer…but I hope you use your evenings more constructively than I do. Usually I do a mad dash for the finish after ten pm – why I can’t get many words written before saying “I’m going to bed now” I’ll never know…
    And for the record my writing is much more clean than my oven. Take that as you will. :-)

    Reply
  1. A day in my writing life | Daniel de Lorne

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