How I write

With difficulty at times! But good writing days make up for the not so good. Sometimes it feels like breaking through a barrier. Other times the words flow like water. I’d like to say that I write every day, but that is just not true. I do, however, work with words almost every day. And what I’m writing is in my head almost all of the time.

I recently read that John Connolly spent six months writing, and then re-writing over and over again, the prologue of his first novel. He admits to being a bit obsessive but ‘the prologue was crucial to what would follow’. I get this entirely but, for me, it’s every chapter.

I find it difficult to move on to the next chapter if something is bugging me about the chapter I’m working on, whether its plotline, character, setting, atmosphere or just colour and texture. I do often start the next chapter but find I’m pulled back to the previous because something has occurred to me that I need to put right, or re-write. Also, as I’m writing a new chapter, I will realise that I need to go back several chapters and re-write, delete or add maybe a line or two because it is now relevant, or irrelevant, to the way the plot is continuously developing. I always know where I’m going but not how to get there.

Writing, for me, is a continuous process of writing and re-writing, and that’s before I get to editing my so-called first draft, or approaching my editor.