Christina Farley is the author of Gilded, Silvern, and Brazen, a YA series based on Korean mythology. Her latest novel is the middle grade fantasy The Princess and the Page. She taught and traveled internationally for ten years before becoming a writer. To learn more about her visit her website or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Describe your workspace.
I have my cute desk where I can write at, but often I find myself writing wherever I am. So it could be on the sidelines of the soccer pitch, my car, library, backyard, or coffee shop. My motto is write when you can. It doesn’t have to be the perfect spot.
Describe a typical workday.
I give myself a daily word count goal if I’m drafting. If I’m revising, I give myself a pages finished goal. I’m fairly strict about hitting that goal, but then I also have learned to give myself manageable goals. Usually 2,000 words a day.
For writing, I like to hit it hard first thing while my mind is fresh. So usually I’ll write until I’m mentally exhausted or hit a roadblock. Then I’ll go for my morning run which really helps inspire me with road blocks.
A big chuck on my writing is actually done in the evening while I’m sitting in the car during soccer practice. It’s a love/hate thing. I love it because I always get lots of writing done. I hate it because I’m stuck in the car with no internet and nothing else to do but write.
List three of your most favorite things in your workspace and why they are meaningful.
- A picture of my sister and I in France. She is my muse.
2. The letters from students about my books.
3. My published books because they remind me that I’m not a complete hack!
Do you have any rituals in your work habits? If so, describe them.
I love to light a candle that signifies my mood. A friend gave me a Jane Austen Paddywax candle which I’m obsessed with.
What do you listen to while you work?
I love to listen to music while I write. When I’m drafting, I play on my iPod the playlist that I create specifically for the book I’m working on. Usually it’s instrumental like a movie soundtrack. It really helps block out noise at home, but more importantly draws me into the world that I’m creating.
What is your drink and/or snack of choice while you’re working?
Peppermint patties and coffee. I love using a mug that symbolizes my mood too!
What keeps you focused while you’re working?
I suppose pure determination. I also like to hang quotes that are meaningful to me as I work on a project.
Do you write longhand, on a computer, or another way?
I keep a journal with all of my notes and ideas. Every book gets its own notebook. Then I type my drafts onto the computer.
How do you develop your story ideas? Do you use an outline, let the muse lead you, or another technique?
I like to storyboard my ideas and then once I have a clear vision for the story, I place it into a plotting chart like this one. Then I write it!
If you were forced to share your workspace but could share it with anyone of your choosing, who would it be?
My fellow YA Chicks! We do a lot of writing together.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve heard or received?
Write because you love to write.