If you follow Strictly regularly, you'll have noticed that we occasionally ask writers a series of Quick-Fire Questions, designed to get in amongst the nitty-gritty details of their writing lives.
This morning I decided to choose five questions to ask myself, with the idea of asking you, should you choose this mission, to do the same. Here are the questions and my answers:
Where do you write?
Perched at a breakfast bar in my recently rented flat in Bristol. Squashed between a fridge-freezer and a full-length Georgian window with no curtain. At night I can see into my neighbours' hall. I watch their nocturnal comings-and-goings, which usually involve dogs. And they can watch me struggling to write. An edifying sight, I'm sure.
Plotter or Pantser?
In my fondest dreams, I'm a Pantser through and through. Flying by the seat of my pants, Letting It All Hang Out on the page. Keeping it loose. Scrawling freely in longhand in a notebook, all the way through to the end of a wonderfully Shitty First Draft. In reality I hunch like a constipated Scrooge over the keyboard (all the better for obsessing over every word), unable or unwilling to move on until the bit I've written is Absolutely Right.
Booker Prize or Hollywood Movie?
Hmm. Tricky. Though given the style of my writing, I think a Hollywood movie might be best (the money, of course, doesn't come into it): I'd rather connect with a multitude of people than with a critical few. Also, I don't have the right kind of intellect for the Booker interviews I'd have to do for Radio Four. I would crumble under John Humphrys' steely eye.
Favourite writing snack - sweet or savoury?
I'm not choosy, as long as it's within easy reach and not too messy (see - even my snacks have to be plotted).
What makes your inner writer happy?
The magic of writing: the joy when a combination of words and phrases comes together feeling real and true and right; creating something or someone who wasn't there before and who never will exist unless I sit down and write them; the way the writing knows where it's going, even if I don't.
So, over to you. Any or all of them.
- Where do you write?
- Plotter or Pantser?
- Booker Prize or Hollywood Movie?
- Favourite writing snack?
- What makes your writer happy?