Nearly There Now

Editor Leah got back with her notes for draft two of Every Vow You Break (formerly known as Novel #2). There were two of them: 1) it’s brilliant and 2) she loves it. The story, plot, character and setting notes from draft one are now all fixed! Hurrah!

Before it goes to the copy editor, though, I’ve asked for another couple of weeks to get right on down to the word level, polishing each sentence so that it conveys as succinctly as possible what I am trying to say.… read more

What I Learned While Editing…

3 am, San Francisco Hotel bathroom

I’ve not been around for a while because, among other things, I have had my head down on draft 2 of novel #2. I had some fantastic notes from EditorLeah, AgentSimon and AsstAgentAriella, and have been working on them, weaving new plotlines back and forth, making sure the little boy doesn’t age rather too rapidly to serve the story (!) and cutting out one of the two prologues and one of the secret rooms.… read more

And Back to Work

What I did in my holidays. Come and see this if you fancy 'a rather tiresome sight gag involving leopard-print underpants' (Independent)

I just got my editor’s notes through, and I’m very excited. It has been a long wait, with me alternating between telling myself that a) she is very busy and has lots of notes to write for lots of novels and b) that the novel has revealed itself to be so full of problems and loopholes and red herrings and, just, well, shite writing, that it is taking her far longer than she anticipated.… read more

Busy busy

They've arrived! Real books, nestling on a fleece

Guilt! Guilt! I’m a bad, infrequent blogger.

I am busier than I ever thought it was possible to be. I mean it’s only one book that’s being published on March 3. And I’m working on the second draft of just one other book, to be delivered at the latest by the end of March, but ideally in the middle of the month.

Two things. That’s not much. When I was web designing I was juggling five or six projects all the time. … read more

Editing for geeks

I have been a bit quiet of late because I am deep in editing mode, with a lot of Christmas and new year stuff on the side. But I have  got my story mapped out now, so I thought I’d stick my head above the parapet and share what I’m up to.

I have filled in all my real-world index cards, colour-coded them and shuffled them around, and I have transcribed all that information onto virtual index cards in Scrivener, which I have already banged on enough about.… read more

Weightlifting for weedy writers

Note the spaces around the words. Not empty for long...

I have printed out my first draft of novel #2, and it comes to nearly 500 pages, and used up a whole black inkjet. This environmental abomination is going to be my constant companion for the next six weeks or so. I’m going to read it, scribble on it, cross out great chunks, add bits and make lists from it and fill in a pile of index cards.… read more

Thoughts about process

I have spent the last couple of days catching up on admin and reading, trying to flush my mind for the read through of novel #2 (which I hope, one day, will actually have a title). I have had to fill in a couple of interview forms for a couple of places, both of which asked about my process.

While it may sound a little precocious coming from a first-time novelist, I do believe that I have a process, or a way of working that suits me.… read more

Nearing the end

I am so close to the end of first draft – and I am so enjoying writing it at the moment. When it’s all going well, and you have to tear yourself away to eat, read, write blog, it’s all so marvellous, this writing thing.

other times, of course, it can be sheer, bloody hell.

What I am itching to do is start the work on the second draft, though. I want to rip it up, move it round, delete, add, invent and weave.… read more

The First Draft Appears

That’s what it’s feeling like at the moment. I’m in a good spot after a slow summer, producing over 2000 words a day. It just keeps coming and coming, for which I am very grateful.

I am having some very familiar difficulties with self-doubt, but it’s amazing how a deadline makes you push them away. I am aiming to get  to the end of this very first draft by half-term, when I will read it through.… read more

Soho House, darling

After two weeks of wall-to-wall editing, it’s my birthday, and I’m off to Soho House to have lunch with Agent Simon and Editor Leah. I have my new fancy schmancy dress on, a head full of excitement about the way the new draft of CUCKOO is shaping up after Leah’s editorial suggestions, and a slightly nervous swing in my step. Lunch is fab, and we three had a lot of fun. I try to look nonchalant as I pass a couple of Really Famous People in the lobby.… read more