So there you are, sitting at your keyboard, tapping your pencil on your teeth and wondering how to move your novel on to the next level. Whilst waiting for inspiration, do you take the opportunity to review the story so far or do you leave well alone?
We all have our own way of working; we might have slipped easily into it, or we might have tried different methods and then settled on the one we like best.
I know one author who will write a few chapters and then hone them to perfection before moving on. I know another who starts with chapter one and works resolutely chapter by chapter to the end.
Me? I’m a bit of a meanderer; I start with chapter one with the intention of working through to the end, when I suddenly think of a new plot point and I jot it down. The thing is, as I make my notes, they start to morph into a full chapter. I have no idea where it will fit within the novel’s structure, but I know it’s too good to ignore.
As a result, during the process, I end up with say, chapters 1-6, chapter 8, and some assorted unnumbered chapters. As the novel develops some of those chapters might end up on the sacrificial table, being terminated for the greater good. Sometimes they become a pivotal moment around which the whole novel revolves, requiring a rewrite of all that has gone before.
Fascinating stuff, but how do YOU write?