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How to Write a Novel Part 3: The Workspace

Noise can be a distraction at inopportune moments, for instance when you've almost nailed down the resolution to that plot point that's been nagging you, you've just noticed a gaping plot hole, or you're just about to place the black jack on the red queen. Any little break in concentration and you could lose your train of thought--or that game of FreeCell--and have to start over from scratch.

For most writers a noise free environment is essential.

Here are some locations you might want to avoid:

1. Airport
2. Heavy Traffic
3. Nickleback Concert -- as if you need another reason to avoid these.

Of course some writers thrive on noise and nothing distracts them--not screaming kids, gunfire, Bobcat Goldthwait--nothing.

These people are freaks and will probably never amount to anything, but their crappy manuscripts can clog an editor's in-basket and hide your masterpiece.

Ideally you should have your own office, somewhere you won't be disturbed while you play Grand Theft Auto work on your masterpiece. A nice quiet room where you can hide from your wife create without distraction can be essential to your "process."

Some of the things you might find useful here are:

1. Desk
2. Computer or laptop (An abacus just won't cut it--I speak from experience)
3. Comfy chair
4. Mini bar
5. PS4 (Xbox will do in a pinch)
6. The complete series of Firefly, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and random episodes of Doctor Who
7. Contact info for Pizza/Chinese/Thai/Sushi takeout. (I recommend Luigi's Royal Thai Dim Sum Emporium)

Some people prefer to write to music, a sort of sound track to their work, and while music can greatly enhance your creativity some can creatively lobotomize you—like Yanni, for instance, or the afore mentioned Nickleback.

Confirmation Question"

Your workspace should be a distraction-free as possible.


Answer: True—unless you're Helen Keller, in which case it may not matter. Sure, maybe you can write with SLAYER turned up to eleven while the kids are juggling chainsaws and the dog humps your leg, but most people can't.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2013 04:39 pm (UTC)
I love reading your posts. They always make me giggle while you're giving good information at the same time. Now if only my daughter could have more teachers that did that...

So I bet that abacus story is a real doozy. Did you lose a whole manuscript by moving one of the beads, or did it just refuse to print?
Nov. 7th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)

(I got my finger caught between one of the beads and accidently changed the language to Klingon. Sales skyrocketed!)
Nov. 8th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
Best. answer. ever.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


slain that., Been there
S.K.S. Perry

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