Wednesday, 22 June 2016
How it began
I used to write a lot of fiction, I mean a LOT, but it has been a few years since I got a story in my mind that was clawing to get out and onto paper. I've been flexing my writing muscles with my law blog, and just before Christmas last year, I had an idea.
Sometimes those ideas go away, and sometimes when you try to get them onto paper they just die on the page, the words feel clunky, the characters feel like wardrobes that you're shoving about and it takes you ten pages to get a character to get out of a door. This time though, it flowed and what was happening on the page was what I had in my head.
So I kept going.
I'd been reading Hemingway, the Moveable Feast, and in amongst all of his drinking of carafes of wine and falling out with other writers, he had some very practical tips. The one that hit me dead centre was - don't write until you run out of ideas, stop before that point, and know what the first few sentences for the next day are going to be. Then tomorrow, when you start, you don't have a terrifying blank page, but you're already in the flow. That's what I did.
I've always been a chip and chase writer - write 5,000 words, then 10,000 and so on - don't worry too much on the first draft about where the story is going. Ideally you get to a point where the characters start bouncing off each other and they tell you what they're going to do next. I can't really imagine sitting down to write a book if I know exactly how everything is going to happen at the end.
I finished the book, did the rewrites, did more polishing, and I felt happy with it. I felt like it was what I'd hoped to write when I started off, which is a rare feeling. And then I did the thing that I've never dared to do before. I said, I want to get this published, and I want to make that happen.
That's why we are where we are now. Thank you so much for helping with that, and I absolutely love you for it.
I'll try in these posts to talk about the book and the process and show you what is going on behind the scenes of getting a book written and published. None of this would be possible without your support. I'll avoid spoilers, because I want you to read the book without knowing too much about what you're going to find.