Delilah S. Dawson
Who are you, and what did you write?
I’m Delilah S. Dawson, also writing as Lila Bowen. I’m most well known for my Star Wars books, Phasma and Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire, but I also wrote the Blud series, the Hit series, the Minecraft Mob Squad series, The Violence, Mine, the Shadow series (as Lila Bowen), and the Tales of Pell, written with Kevin Hearne. My comics include Marvel Action Spider-Man, Star Wars Adventures, The X-files Case Files, Adventure Time, Rick & Morty, Labyrinth, Disney Descendants, and the creator-owned Ladycastle, Sparrowhawk, and Star Pig.
What hardware and software do you write with?
I’m pretty simple. I write in Word because that’s what my publishers demand. I used to use Open Office, which I vastly preferred because it’s cheap and I’m frugal. I’ve tried Scrivener, but it’s just too labor-intensive, and I need a constant page/word count. As for my process, I do some plotting on index cards, and once I know the beginning, instigating factor, climax, and ending, plus the main character inside and out, I start writing. My first drafts go hard and fast, straight through front to back, with no self-editing or jumping around. Once I have a first draft, I do a quick second draft to smooth things out, then send that off to my agent/editor. I really miss editing on paper with a red pen because I find so many little things to fix, but all my publishers have moved away from that model.
When and where do you write?
Every day, wherever I can! My goal is 2000 words written or 50 pages edited per day. It’s important to me that I don’t let writing get too precious; if I can only write at this table with this music and that coffee, then there will be days that I can’t write. So I do a lot of writing at my dining room table, on my couch, in my office. But I can also write on the airplane or in the coffee shop or in the front seat of my car while I wait for the gym to open. I wrote 9k over a 4-day Disney trip last week. I’m a firm believer in daily flexing of the creative muscles so that writing becomes a habit and not something easily impacted by the outside world.
What's your dream writing setup?
First of all, I’d like a robotic spine, as that’s my biggest problem– I have a terrible back, and writing is not great for posture. If we’re talking about a physical space, I like being up high and near water with a big window. I’ve been writing exclusively on MacBook Airs for a decade, so I’d ideally like a new, fast, light MacBook with the magnetic power cable and plenty of USB plugs. I need an ergonomic chair and a desk with plenty of room for things to fiddle with. And I need a comfy couch with a heating pad where I can write while reclining. But ultimately, the ideal writing setup would be a life where I’m traveling often, having novel experiences and hanging out with other writers. That’s what keeps me motivated, what keeps my brain sparking and my energy up.