Write How You Write ~ Outside the Margins with Megan Derr

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Megan Derr goes Outside the Margins today.


I’m sure this is a topic that has been worn to death, and yet I’ve seen it a lot lately. Writing fast equal writing bad. Don’t talk about your muse. Do this. Don’t do that.

I have spent far too much of my life doing what other people say. I’ve talked quite a bit about how people find me frustrating, that I can be too loud, too blunt, etc. I’m not saying these things to brag. I’m an asshole, you’ll just have to learn to deal or get out. No, I’m not about that. That’s bullshit. Don’t be an asshole. I am saying these as facts. I’m awkward and shy, that too often comes out blunt in a way I never mean and swear I’m never doing. It’s a large source of my lack of self-confidence, that’s I always fuck up what I say or how I say it.

I’m also an extremely emotional person. I used to get written up for it at work all the time. People tell me to do this, be that, behave this way, I can’t do this or that because of who or what I am.

And just no. It is not anyone’s place to tell me how I am supposed to be. How to do my job better, yes. But unless you’re a coworker or my editor or someone I have turned to for help, dictating how I act and live is none of your business.

This applies just as readily to my writing. I tend to go into my stories blind or only with a vague idea. Sometimes I make jokes about my muse not cooperating. Or the story hating me. Or the characters being stubborn assholes. I joke with many friends online and off about how pleasure I take in torturing my characters. Almost every story I write has a song or three attached to it, though I don’t listen to them when I’m actually writing because I always work best in silence. I cannot write out of order, I have tried several times and it doesn’t work for me. I can scribble maybe two half-assed pages of notes and something vaguely resembling an outline in you’re generous and squinting, and still crank out a 100k+ high fantasy story with four POVs and a magic system that gives me a headache. I wrote Bound (which is 200k) with no notes at all.

Some of this will sound familiar to writers. Other writers will read all that and wonder how the hell I function. I love seeing how other authors work because it’s FUN. No two of us do it the same.

I don’t like to find pictures of my characters. I don’t like having piles and piles of notes and diagrams and characters sheets. If I draw a map, it’s just so I can remember where shit is, and sometimes I draw the map first and make myself work with what I come up with just for the challenge of it (this is what I did with Engineered Throne).

I dislike Scrivener. I like Word. I hate sprinting 90% of the time but once in a great while it works for me. I love Freedom. Sometimes, especially with longer, more intricate stories, I do better writing by hand first and transcribing later. I’m not a talker, speech to text would never work for me. I write quickly but this means I spend a hell of a lot of time revising/editing.

I’ve loved coffee longer than I’ve been a writer. I love whiskey but prefer amaretto. Beer is my favorite when it comes to alcohol, though. I hate old-fashioned typewriters, I hate the smell of old books, I hate cartridge pens. I prefer cheap notebooks with a spiral bind b/c it’s easier when I’m transcribing later. I write better at night. I prefer ebooks for fiction and dead tree for research and other nonfiction.

No two writers are created equal. If your writing advice boils down to ‘be more like me’ then your advice is bad.

Writers should never be afraid to try new things, or shake up a routine. But at the end of the day, if it works for you, it works for you. Roll with it and ignore the rest of us.


~Megan Derr

TournamentOfLosersTitle: Tournament of Losers
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: 02/10/2016
Cover Artist: Julie Wright
Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance


All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father’s latest debt, Rath doesn’t know what to do. There’s no way to come up with so much money in so little time.

Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father’s debt.

All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it’s back to trying to live a quiet life…


Tournament of Losers on Goodreads
Less Than Three Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

About Megan Derr

Megan is a long time resident of LGBTQ fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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One thought on “Write How You Write ~ Outside the Margins with Megan Derr

  1. It has never made sense to me when people tell me how I’m supposed to write. I had an English teacher in high school that insisted he would mark down a paper one point for every ‘be’ word. I found that to be utterly ridiculous, so I wrote my papers how I thought they should be written and still managed a good grade despite that teacher’s efforts to sabotage his students. Even today, when reviewers complain that there isn’t enough romance in my stories, I’m not going to change the fact that I’m a plot-heavy and character-driven writer just to appease them.

    My philosophy is write what you love so that you love writing.

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