About Plotting and Planning

Last week I ran a three-hour MA class on plotting at City University. Apart from being one of the scariest things I have ever said yes to (and I admit this as a constant yes-person), planning the session coincided with a small sea-change in my working process.

If you have even glanced at some of my previous posts, you will have gleaned that, in NaNoWriMo parlance, I am a pantser, not a plotter.… read more

Been a long time…

And this is a bit how I feel after emerging from two months of heavy-duty editing/major surgery on novel #3, which I can now happily announce is to be called TARNISHED.

I’ve been working on Editor Leah’s brilliant and comprehensive notes on my first draft, as well as a bundle of rather more haphazard and gut-based queries of my own.

I had fully intended to post weekly with lessons learned while editing, but I found it quite difficult to lift my head from what I was doing.… read more

A gamble

Some of the bare bones of novel #3

After a busy Christmas and New Year, I knew I had to buckle down to the second draft of novel #3, which I had spent most of December planning out on my Scrivener virtual cork board. A stretch of quiet, concentrated time was what was needed. I also had a bit of location research to do in Tankerton and Whitstable.

OldMan has had a few weeks of working from home – a rarity in his line of business – and he has been saying for a long time that, as he’s around to hold the fort, why don’t I just take myself off for a week and just write.… 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

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

So this is how it happens

Today, after a fruitless day yesterday where I wrote myself into a dark hole, (including some inappropriate sex scenes that took me nowhere except to consider making an appointment with a therapist) I sat down with my good old friends from the eighties. Yep. I got out the index cards.

I don’t know why I need cardboard real-life index cards when I have the wonderful Scrivener, which duplicates the process, but virtually. In fact, I then always go on to transcribe the scenes onto the Scrivener corkboard.read more