Before I sit down and start writing, a lot of things need to be in place. Some may call them quirks. I call them: tools to a future bestselling novel. [Symbol]
For starters, where I write is critical. I am somewhat of an odd ball when it comes to that. I don’t have an office (by choice) - at least not the kind of office that everyone would consider normal. I love the outdoors, and don’t like being confined to a room with a desk and a computer, or four walls closing in on me. Instead, I bought myself a portable laptop desk that I can move around to wherever I plant myself for a particular day. The portable desk has compartments for all my accessories, phones, Kindle and USB cords. The legs can be folded underneath, and it can easily sit on my lap, or I can put the legs down and sit opposite a comfortable chair.
If the weather outside is poor, I park myself in front of a large window of the seasonal home. Now that summer is creeping up on us and the temperatures are starting to get warm, I will move the portable desk out on a screened-in deck, or I might even park myself down by the water.
Another quirk is; I need noise. A lot of writers need it to be completely quiet when they’re writing. If I’m stuck inside because of rotten weather, I either have the TV on tuned into an action flick, or I have the music cranked up. When the weather cooperates and I can sit on the deck, I put a sign out letting the neighbors and toursis know I’m “working”; then they know to steer clear. I may like the noise when I’m writing, but I prefer to not be interrupted when I’m in the middle of plotting a scene.
Now comes the must haves…I must have tons of dark chocolate in the refrigerator, and a case of Dasani water. Once I start the writing process, the only thing that I will definitely break for is; exercise. Exercise is a major part of the process to keep the juices flowing. Chances are; I won’t have time for full meals during my process, so I will have stocked up on salad fixings, and of course, my chocolate. To keep the hunger at bay, I will nibble on small pieces of the chocolate. It also helps with my concentration - at least that’s my excuse for getting to eat chocolate. [Symbol]
When I’m finally seated and settled, first I check emails and social media outlets. I CANNOT start writing unless that is done. Otherwise, my mind will constantly drift off while I’m writing, worrying that I might have missed something. With that out of the way, I begin my writing process using my regimented “quirky” process, and I do not deviate from:
1. Write out a one or two sentence logline describing the story.
2. Write out a list of my characters and mini bios and backgrounds.
3. Using my logline as a guide, I write a one-page outline which can be used as a synopsis later.
4. Using my outline as a guide, I then write a draft screenplay using the three-act structure, and make sure to include the action scenes and dialogue.
5. Now that I have three-act screenplay (beginning, middle and end), I start adapting the story into a novel.
CR HIATT is a writer of screenplays and an author of YA action-mystery novels. The daughter of a military veteran, CR grew up in a small town where she became an All-American athlete. CR knew early on that she wasn't cut out for the nine to five type of job - her tendency to day dream about adventures often got in the way. But, being the daughter of a Navy Veteran she also knew one had to do what was necessary to be secure, so she disciplined herself to push those dreams aside and settled on working in the entertainment legal field. When those dreams invaded her world once again, CR finally gave in and set out to write her own adventures. What the heck, right. If you can't live 'em, you might as well write about them. The McSwain & Beck series are works of fiction, only based on real life events. Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00 is the first in the series, and available now. Fireworks on the 4th will be released in late June, just before the 4th of July holiday season.