Nanowrimo Spotlight #8: Elizabeth Twist

Well, it’s my great pleasure this evening to spotlight a good friend of mine, and a fellow Hamilton Wrimo, Elizabeth Twist. Take it away, Twisty Liz!

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
I do all my first drafts with a fountain pen, which isn’t unique but is a less popular choice than drafting on a computer. Hiking out in nature is also an essential part of my process. I do all my best plotting while mobile and surrounded by trees.

Where are your backup files?
I have a massive second hard drive in my computer. Once a month, I make a complete copy of my documents files on it. Whenever I change a story, I email a copy to myself and file it under a “story drafts” label in my email archive. That capacious gmail account really comes in handy. Originals, i.e., first drafts, I keep in a binder, or in a pile on my desk until I’m ready to work with them.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Do as much planning as you need to get yourself really stoked for November. Once November comes, write like hell, and give yourself permission to enjoy it! Really do immerse yourself in the writing experience, and really do let other stuff go. Every writer deserves to have that experience, of putting writing before all other priorities. It’s not a state that you can stay in forever: those dishes will need attending to eventually. It is something you can afford to do for a month. November is an excellent time because you’ll have tons of support through the website, through the forums, and your local region if yours is active.

Sneaky Ninja Question! Who’s the best character you’ve ever written and why?
Tricky. I’m going to define “best” by “most enjoyable to work on.” I’ve written characters that I’ve been really proud of in terms of nuance and subtle layering of traits and all that stuff, but that’s, like, hard work, you know? My favourite character, who was just a blast, was a guy called Johnny Brittle, a creepy punkish fellow who was granted immortality by a goddess in some obscure wheat field in Mesopotamia. I’ve seriously considered going back to the broken manuscript he appeared in solely because he was fun.

Elizabeth Twist writes speculative fiction and lives in Hamilton Ontario. She blogs at

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