Thursday, 28 August 2008

The process

Last week a neighbour asked me about my writing process and I stuttered out a poor excuse for an answer and since then I have been wondering whether or not I have one. When I look back over the four novels I have written I can see a clear pattern that goes a little something like this 1. Muse over idea for plot and characters for several weeks. 2. Write like crazy for a short while, about a month 3. Get stuck around the 25,000 word mark and step back for more musing 4. Write the rest of it word by slowly emerging word until I get close to the end then procrastinate in manner of someone who doesn't like things ending. 5. Finish and wonder why I procrastinated.

Then I have a first draft.

I am currently emerging from my favourite stage, stage 3, the one where I have made decent headway but need to distance myself to look again at my plot and characters, taking into account what the writing is turning up. During this period everything and nothing counts as work and I spend too much time on the internet 'researching'. But now, as I flex my brain to get into stage 4, the real graft of the novel, I am excited. For the last month I have been thinking, thinking, thinking and it will be a relief to get outside my head for a while, even if only onto the page. I am always pleasantly surprised when the gap between mind and matter seems minimal.

The search for a title for Studs continues. My editor and I have arranged to meet for cocktails to discuss. I just hope we don't get lost in the murky depths of some dirty martinis and forget to come up with one.

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