Posts Tagged ‘writing is rewriting’

how to write a novel in no easy steps

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

1: Start writing. An idea is not necessary at this stage.
2: Keep writing. Pay no attention to mundane matters such as plot, character, setting, structure, or story. Just keep writing words until you have around half a million of them.
3: Now take those half a million words and throw. them. away.
4: Stare [...]

masters at work

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

“Not everyone knows how cognac comes into being. To make cognac, you need four things: wine, sun, oak, and time. And in addition to these, as in every art, you must have taste. The rest is as follows.
In the fall, after the vintage, a grape alcohol is made. This alcohol is poured into [...]

there’s a name for this

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

there must be a name for this feeling you get in the middle of a novel when actually you HATE your novel and you want to throw it out of the window and start over and your friends have to talk you down and talk you up and you read blogs that say WHATEVER YOU [...]

an end and a beginning

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every [...]

never say never

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

How do you know when it’s time to stop writing something? Is it when the very thought of it fills you with a sense of paralysing ennui? When you can’t imagine ever being interested in the characters? When the plot makes no real sense? When, after writing several drafts, you still have nothing more than [...]

the time it takes

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

There’s this moment in the writing of a story, when you’ve written and rewritten, revised, edited, taken out all the extra words, and given your characters a few more things to do other than nodding their heads, shaking their heads, smiling and shrugging; there’s this moment where you think you have finished. Yay, you wrote [...]

words words words

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I’m a few thousand words into the second draft of my novel. It’s amazing to me that it has taken approximately 100,000 words to get to the point where I am ready to start actually writing the story. I’ve realised that the first draft was more or less just a very detailed outline. From that, [...]


Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman with one novel on the go is always hankering after another. I honestly think that the best way to guarantee a steady flow of exciting new ideas is always to be working on something that keeps you away from writing anything new.
That notwithstanding, this morning [...]

writing is rewriting

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

So I plucked up courage and read the first draft. It was everything I expected it to be: sloppy, solipsistic, boring. But after reading it, I wrote a list of everything I liked about it, and there were FIVE WHOLE THINGS! So much of the story became clearer to me as I read, particularly towards [...]

the fear

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

I’ve got the fear.
It’s half-term next week, and it’s about two months since I finished the first draft of my novel. A good time to start editing and revising. That was the plan, anyway.
So this morning I printed out a paper copy, with the intention of reading it through once and taking it [...]