Random Pearls: Amie Rose Rotruck

Hello! After a lovely springtime tease, winter is back. It’s cold, rainy and icy in our region tonight. I hope you all are hunkered down and warm, pounding away at the keyboard or reading a wonderful book.

As for me, I am doing my part to help chase away the mid-week chills by bringing you our feature Random Pearls.

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Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Amie Rose Rotruck, author of Bronze Dragon Codex and How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-On Activities for Monster Hunters: A Young Wizards Handbook. If you recall, Amie stopped by a few weeks ago and shared what happens next after she gets a great idea for a novel.

They say that to become successful, you should study the habits and philosophies of those in your field who are already successful. Other than writing every day, what unique work habits or philosophies do you possess that makes you excel?

Having a schedule to write really helps me.  I’ve done a lot of work for hire as well as writing for classes, and I find that a deadline really helps me produce well!  When I have a deadline, I set up a spreadsheet.  I enter the date when things are due, figure out when I should have a rough draft done for myself and critique group and Beta readers to read, and then figure out how many words I need to do each day (this is easy to do with work for hire, since word count is often in the contract).  As I write, whenever I reach that procrastinating spot that we writers know all too well, I check my word count and enter it in.  I find myself flipping back and forth between themanuscript and spreadsheet a lot.  As weird as it sounds, this helps me keep on track and I think I write better when I have one of these rather than just meandering through the story.  Both my published (both work-for-hire) books were written in under a year.  My unpublished (ie, not written to deadline) books have taken me as long as 20 years to complete!

Thanks for the great advice, Amie!

Happy writing and illustrating everyone!!!!

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About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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