6th August 2015

George R R Martin calls them architects and gardeners; most other writers call them plotters and pantsers. Either way, there’s general agreement that all writers fall somewhere on a spectrum between detailed up-front planning and complete seat-of-the-pants improvisation. I fall towards the latter end of the spectrum. I wish I could plot a novel before…

29th July 2014

Over the past year or so I’ve been gearing up to write a new novel, and I’ve had to rediscover my own writing process all over again. Writing The Alchemist of Souls took so long that I barely remember how I got from vague idea to first rough draft, and whilst the two sequels are very recent,…

18th March 2014

This weekend I knuckled down to sorting out the overall plot of my work-in-progress. I have a setting, several main characters and some ideas for conflicts, but nothing was pinned down, hence my struggles to get on with writing the book. This is pretty par for the course with me; I tend to get bogged…

29th November 2011

One of my favourite bits of writing fantasy is the action scenes. I rarely bother to plan them in advance – one sword-fighting scene in The Alchemist of Souls was described as “Big fight!” in my outline – as I find they’re more fun, and more fluid, if I just make things up as I…

20th January 2011

I’ve just realised I didn’t post to say that I finished the rewrite of my manuscript on Sunday – I guess I was just too exhausted! Anyway, the final eight chapters plus epilogue are done and off to my beta-reader, so I’m on schedule to have this baby done and out the door by the…