On writing


I’ve been a bit stuck with the book I’m currently writing, the next one in the Two-Natured London series, the Warrior’s Heart. Well, stuck is a wrong word. I’ve written it every day, just not very much. I know where it should go; I just don’t want it to get there yet. Coming up with a plausible plot turn has evaded me thus far.

Since I’m not writing feverishly, I’ve had time to reflect on my writing style. I’ve never been a prolific or fast writer and this has partly to do with how I write. I constantly go back in my text. Before I start with the next chapter, usually at the beginning of the day, I read through what I have written so far, make corrections and refresh my mind about what I should write next. Sometimes, like at the moment, when I don’t feel inspired, I read and edit longer stretches of the manuscript. It slows me down, but the benefit of this is that my book gets edited and proofread more thoroughly than it otherwise would. I believe, too, that it helps me develop the story better.

My slowness might also have to do with the fact that I don’t really know the story beforehand when I start writing. I have a vague idea of the plot and the characters, what they are like and how they should act, but nothing more specific than that. I know there are writers who plan the story carefully before they start to write, but I’ve never been able to do that. Not properly anyway. I’ve outlined the plot a couple of times, only to realise halfway through the book that I’ve ignored my notes completely and the story is different than I imagined it to be. It might be a better story too, who knows.

With every book, there comes a point where I have to continue even though I’m not particularly inspired to. I simply write on, forcing the story and the characters in some direction, any direction, just to get past the difficult spot. I can always go back and edit it later. Or next day.

On a completely different note, the winter has well and truly arrived. The snow that fell a couple of weeks ago is gone, but there is one definite sign. The sailing season has ended. My husband has taken the boat off the water and tucked it in for the winter. As a result, our living room has been filled with sails for some reason. I hope it’s only temporary – like my dry spell.

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