Inara Scott FAQs

What’s your writing routine?

My days really vary. Besides writing, I’m also a college professor and a mom to two incredible kids. Somedays I can’t write at all, some days I manage to steal a few morning hours, and some days I get to plop myself in front of the computer and write all day long. I tend to go in spurts. I will write a lot for a few months, and then let myself breath, read, and do other things. I’m not one of those writers who can crank out four books a year. I need a little more time for my muse to recharge than that!

Do you plot out your stories before you write?

There are two kinds of writers out there: plotters and pantsers. The pantsers write by the seat of their pants. The anal types, like me, plot it all out ahead of time. I don’t expect my plotting to be exact, but I do like to have a roadmap of the major conflicts, turning points, and character arcs before I start writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It usually takes me somewhere between two and six months to write a novel. I did write a novel in 28 days once, but I don’t expect that to happen often! And this comes after I’ve spent a few weeks (or a month) musing over the plot. Musing is important. I’ve found I can’t rush the story when it’s in the musing stage. But once I start writing, all bets are off. By the way, this is just the time it takes me to get the first draft down on paper. Then there’s all kinds of revisions, especially after my editor gets a hold of it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I’m a realistic person and I never expected to make it as a writer. I got myself a good day job as a lawyer before I really threw my heart into my writing. Good day jobs are nice things. They help you pay the rent and buy groceries. The trouble is, once you get that day job it’s far too easy to forget about your passion and get stuck on the couch watching TV or surfing the internet in your “down time”. Don’t forget. If you want to write, write. Don’t talk about it. Do it. Wake up early and stay up late. Work hard. Don’t expect it to come easily. Push yourself and learn to enjoy the process. If, after all this, you don’t sell your first or second novel, and manage to garner over 150 rejection before someone — anyone — believes in you, take heart. It happened to me too.

Can you read my play/memoir/story/novel?

No, I’m sorry, I can’t. I won’t even open the attachment. My lawyer side tells me reading things from people I don’t know is a bad idea. My teacher side tells me I’m not in any way qualified to give you valuable feedback. Please, take your work to an English teacher, critique group, writing organization, or writing teacher. They will be much better able to help you.

Are you really that much of a whiner about being cold?

Yes. I used to drive my parents crazy complaining about it when I was a kid on the snowy streets of Buffalo. Then I drove my boyfriend crazy complaining about it on the snowier (and colder) streets of Minneapolis. Now that poor boyfriend is my husband, and even though there’s no snow on the ground, I’m still complaining.