Write Now With Dwain Worrell

Today's Write Now interview features Dwain Worrell, a film and television writer for Marvel’s Iron Fish, CBS’s Fire Country, and the Disney+ series National Treasure.

Write Now With Dwain Worrell
Photo courtesy of Dwain Worrell

Who are you?

My name is Dwain Worrell, I am a television and screenwriter and now a first-time novelist with Androne, based in sunny Hollywood, California.

What do you write?

I started writing in college, as a computer science major and later astronomy major, and all the while, I found myself writing little short stories. That led me to take a fiction class or two as an elective. It was love at first write, I fell in love with the craft. Afterward I ended up majoring in both theater, dramaturgy concentration, and English. My path was set, I was going to be a writer.

And I still love writing. I love creating worlds and destroying them, and inviting readers to journey through them with me. So when I write I do not purposefully seek out any themes nor do I try to avoid them, but I do think that instinctively I lean in certain directions. Themes of isolation and war, military stories, and loner protagonists come up often in my work. These are the themes that keep showing up.

Where do you write?

I write anywhere I can, unfortunately. There’s noise all around me at home, from pets to family and friends, to being in the city. My preference, of course, is somewhere quiet with an ambiance like ocean waves in the background—Barbados, that would be my preferred writing destination, but I usually end up at Starbucks with my laptop, a coffee, and the cappuccino machine screaming into my ear. But I usually make it work, noise-canceling headphones are a must, and a good internet connection for the research that’s necessary for whatever I’m writing.

Photo courtesy of Dwain Worrell

When do you write?

My writing sessions normally involve me surfing the internet and watching puppy videos for an hour before I actually dig down and start putting pen to paper. That is to say, I can never quite jump right in. I need that 10, 30, 45 minutes to loosen me up. There’s no goal or deadline though (unless put upon me by outside forces). I can sometimes spend an entire day looking at a single paragraph. Some days are amazing 2000-word miracles, but most tend to be 500 and change with a lot of rewriting and reshaping what I wrote the day before.

When I am given deadlines either by my amazing agent or my amazing editor, I put a little more focus on my work time-wise. I lock in and keep the puppy breaks to a shorter length.

Why do you write?

That’s a great question. I write, and it’s going to sound cliche, but I do it because I have to. There are stories inside of my head that need to get out. I need to put them down on paper. I think sometimes, if I never tell this story in this way, it will never be told, so I have to write it. I’m a walking cliche.

How do you overcome writer's block?

I guess walking. I love walking, it helps me clear my mind. And the motor function of it all helps me feel more energetic. Sometimes for me, writer’s block arises from being just being creatively exhausted—overworking the imaginary brain cells. So exercising another part of the body helps with that. A walk around the block a day, keeps the writer’s block at bay.

Bonus: What do you enjoy doing when not writing?

I’m a hooper, so playing basketball is one of my favorite pastimes, in fact, some would say I’m a legend in the courts of Boston at street basketball, okay, I might be the only person who says that but I grew up playing basketball in Boston and if I could do it professionally (NBA), it’s the only profession that I would leave writing for. I truly love basketball. In addition to that I enjoy gaming, Last of Us, Dead Space, among others, and sometimes that gaming can help inspire what I write.

My thanks to Dwain Worrell for today's interview.