When I write the only sound I like to hear is the sound of my fingers tapping away on the keyboard. I might have the TV on but it will be muted and occasionally I might look at it for a minute or two if anything interesting is happening. In reality I cannot write when I have lots of noise around me. A few years back I would listen to music (the radio) but that got to be a strain and I found I couldn’t write as well as I knew I could.
It is the same when it comes to editing a story. I need complete silence. In fact I can spend longer (sometimes) on editing than it takes me to write some of my flash fiction pieces. I don’t mind editing at all, if it means the story is being improved. I once cut 13K words out of a novella that I was trying to write. I was 40K words in and just couldn’t justify two chapters. They had no real relation to what I was trying to say or what I was trying to do. I eventually abandoned the novella because I just couldn’t think of an appropriate middle. I had the ending but couldn’t work out how the characters got to the end,
I don’t encounter that problem when I write flash or short stories. Flash is a dream to write because you have to get straight to the point in so few words. Stories allow you a bit more freedom but you do generally have to get to the point and be consistent in the line of thought you are taking.
Solitude is important for me too. It’s just as important as silence. I need to be alone when I write and cannot imagine writing anything while in other people’s company. When writing you really have to concentrate and make believe you are in the world of your characters,.