Writing on Planes, in hotel rooms…

by Ksenia Anske

Please welcome Daniel Marks, author of young adult horror and fantasy who spends way too much time glued to the internets and collects books obsessively. His debut novel Velveteen came out on October 9th, 2012.


For the past twelve hours, I’ve been trying to plot out a novel and form it into some semblance of a working outline that both my agent and editor and, myself—I’ve got to fit into this equation somehow - can agree is both marketable and feasible. It’s been a bit of a rush job as my last effort, which I worked on for nearly six months and still didn’t have anything remotely looking like a book, is currently languishing in the bowels of my laptop memory somewhere (the exact words from my editor: “Maybe we should put that aside.”)

But that’s beside the point, I’m trying to do this while traveling. I’m on a bit of a mini-tour with a book festival and school visits and signings and such looming in the very near future. So, focus becomes a big issue. It’s not easy to keep your mind in the game when the baby’s crying in the seat behind you on the plane, or when your hotel room is literally lined up with the barrel of the Fremont St. Experience in Las Vegas - it’s midnight right now and the booming bass drum just stopped.

Oh wait… no it didn’t.

But I’m still sitting here, fingers on the keys and when the laptop doesn’t fit because the person ahead of me on the plane MUST lean back, I switch to longhand, scribbling rushed notes in a spiral notepad. I have to. I want this career. I want it with the heat of a hundred suns - well maybe not that much, but I want it.

In this case, and in most, focus is directly correlated to ambition. So this month, NaNoWriMo is it’s name, formerly November, remember that focus is the real key to getting that half a novel written (or your very thin, desperate for fleshing out novel). The folks that hit that 50K mark want to, you’ll have to ask them how badly - I’m afraid of them.

And now…back to the outline. If I could put you to work drafting it out for me, I would. No seriously, if I find you, you’re indentured. Beware.

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