I used to have no betas at all, and then I'd spend MONTHS after posting a fic, going back through and fixing mistakes whenever someone pointed them out or I read the story over myself. Then one reader actually too the time to go through the entirety of DDD for me and JUST fix the punctuation/grammar. And I thought, "you know, it would have been nice if someone had done that before I posted."
And thus the next time I wrote something, I asked if anyone minded betaing for me. Ever since then, I usually find at least one beta reader, if I can. So, how many I use really just depends on who answers my request for betas.
I'm not going to tell you horror or dream stories though, because I think that's unfair to the betas who taken the time to do me a FAVOUR. I mean,
No. I need it to be quiet, though, I HAVE gotten used to writing in a coffee shop and having the coffee shop music playing in the background... but when I'm writing at home, I definitely can't have music on, and I'll tell you why:
Music keeps my brain anchored to what is immediately happening. If I put on music, especially music that I know and LIKE, then I will listen to the music and sing along... I will not be able to write dialogue, because the music will be the dialogue... I will not be able to sink my thoughts into the world I'm creating, because the music will anchor me to MY WORLD.
It's actually a key function of music when I'm driving. When I'm driving, especially for long distances, I need to have music on. Why? Because I will literally get lost in thought otherwise and drive into a ditch. I HAVE DONE IT BEFORE. Music isn't a distraction from driving for me, it's what keeps me anchored to the reality that I am driving.
When I write though, being anchored to my reality is not a good thing - I need to be able to get lost in thought. I need to be able to sink into the mood of my character without the song changing over to something that doesn't apply and rips me out of the mindset.
Now, that all being said, I do take a lot of inspiration from music, but mostly while I'm listening to my iPod walking around town. I'll listen to music and I'll think about what I want to write the next time I'm sitting down at my computer, but when I DO sit down, the music will be off.
26 – What is the oddest (or funniest) thing you've had to research for a fic?
I wish I had a funny answer for this. I don't really need to look up that much for the type of fic that I write. My fic is mostly all canon based, so anything "odd" or "funny" is just me looking up different canon facts. How long does it take to brew the draught of living death? Etc... nothing too outlandish.
OH! Wait, I do have a funny story... When my friend read the demented'verse, they wanted to know just how low Nate's dating prospects really WERE in the Wizarding world of the UK.... so, yeah, we actually did all the math based on real-world statistics for what percentage of the population tends to be gay males, what percentage of the population Rowling has said wizards make up, and what percentage of the population is in Nate's age-range. So, yeah, we basically did a bunch of Gay Wizard Math. So, yeah, I mean, it wasn't really FOR a fic, but it was proving to my friend that I was right when I had Nate complain about the slim pickin's especially while he was at school.