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Monday 17 February 2014

My Writing Process - Blog Tour

I was invited to take part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour by Kathy Sharp, who wrote her post last week. 

The blog tour consists of answering four questions about my writing process: 

What am I working on?

I have several unfinished projects on the go at the moment.  That’s the story of my life, really.  If anything gets finished it’s little short of a minor miracle. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  

I’m not afraid of mixing genres or challenging existing ideas.  For example, my debut novel The Ghostly Father, which was officially released last week, offered what I hope is a plausible alternative telling of the old Romeo & Juliet story.  Interestingly, Waterstones have it listed on their website under Science Fiction!  I’m still trying to figure that one out… 

Why do I write what I do?   

The Ghostly Father was my response to the challenge “Write the book you want to read.”  The book I’ve always wanted to read is the version of Romeo & Juliet where things don’t go horribly wrong for them.  Judging by the amazing response to its release, it appears that I’m not by any means the only one!  Thank you, everyone who has bought it and made it such an overwhelming success! 

How does my writing process work?   

It starts with an idea, which gets mulled over for a while.  Then I start making notes.  Originally, these notes were usually scribbled on the backs of envelopes, or in the margin of whatever newspaper happened to be lying around at the time.  Now, they’re made using the Notes feature on my phone, or in a Moleskine notebook which was a gift from another writer friend.   Either way, I have a curious collection of snippets and eavesdroppings which are waiting for the right moment to be used.

I’d say my writing process has changed quite significantly in recent years.  When I first started, I felt as though every word was carved in stone, and once it was down on the page it could never be changed.  Now, looking back at some of my earlier scribblings, I visibly cringe.  Did I really think the first version was also good enough to be the final version?  Taking writing courses, belonging to writing groups, and working as an editor, have all shown me that whatever I’m writing, there’s always room for improvement.  This blog post has already been through the editorial mangle several times… 

Now, once I start writing I just keep going.  It’s more important to get the words down, then go back and revise them later.  As another writer friend once told me: “You can’t edit a blank page.”  If I get stuck, I get up and do something else for a little while; more often than not the answer comes to me when I’m doing something which doesn’t call for too much brain-power.  I’ve had some of my best ideas when I’ve been mowing the lawn! 

Which reminds me – I need to replace the lawn-mower…


  1. I have a writing process a little similar ...have to write or can't edit. And if I get stuck, I just kill someone. Seems to work...

    1. Note to self: steer clear of Ms Hedges when she's got a bad attack of writer's block...

  2. Ha ha... science fiction. Perhaps the word ghostly made them think of ghosts, which must mean science fiction!?!?

    I'm not sure I have a writing process.

    1. A lot of "Alternative History" appears to be classed as Science Fiction. I think that must have been what they had in mind. I just hope that anyone who's bought it thinking it was Science Fiction (or anyone else, for that matter) isn't going to be horribly disappointed when they come to read it...