The Method in My Madness

I get a lot of questions about the way I write from friends, fans, readers and writers alike. The answer to most of these questions is simply “no.” Let me give you some examples.
Do you hand write and then type it up? No
Do you always type it directly onto your computer and never hand write? No
Do you print out each chapter as you are done? No
Do you have set place where you write? No
Do you have a lot of time to write? No
Are any of your characters real people? No
Do you plot it all out first? No
Do you research before you start? No
Do you always know it’s going to be a good book? No
Do you write it all first and then edit? No
For me writing is almost like raising children. I do whatever works when it works. Sometimes the same method doesn’t work every time. To keep things fresh and thriving, I have to mix it up. So often I do things on the go. To illustrate this, I thought I’d give you a list of questions I can say, “Yes!” to instead.
Do you edit, revise and re-write as you go? Yes! Often it’s five steps forward ten steps back.
Do you ever hand write? Yes! Mostly in car parks, waiting rooms, at the dentist etc. I carry a notebook in my handbag. I sometimes even write in the commercials of a show I’m watching on television!
Do you research when you need to? Yes! Often when the story hits a point where I have to say to myself, “I don’t know enough about this subject to write about it.”
Do you ever suffer from a lack of ideas? Yes
Do write the story in chronological order? Yes
Do you sometimes write scenes out of order? Yes
Do you do any plotting at all? Yes. But I would say it’s more like brainstorming. It’s often very loose and I don’t stick to it. Most of the time when I plot it’s to make myself feel better. I like to fool myself into believing I’m in control of my writing rather than my muse.
So there you go. Is there any method in this madness? I don’t know. But it seems to be working for now. So I think I’ll stick with it.


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