Monthly Archives: July 2014

Writing a novel

Ideas are something I never struggle with. I am always at different stages with writing  a book. I currently have 4 ideas for novels that will come to fruition, but some of these may be years away. I will collect ideas for these books and jot them down, they may not mean much at the time but I know they will become important later.

So to the process of writing a novel. I will collect the ideas, as above until I consider there is enough to put something together. Next I outline these into ideas and notes for chapters, each of these may take a few days to collate, with new takes on the original ideas. When I am satisfied there is enough material, that outline is completed and I move to the next chapter with the same process. Eventually after a couple of months of that process I will be ready to start writing.

I write everyday but not too much, I would usually aim to complete a chapter of 4,000 words every week. I don’t worry if I miss days or don’t complete I have no set routine. Again I will write in different places or actually write at the scene I intend to create. In-between I will confer with friends and adapt or change little processes. Long cups of coffee come to mind lol. I would expect that process to last 6 months.

I would then spend lots of time re-working the chapters, getting friends to read and going over grammar. Then and only then is it ready for the editor. I would expect to work with an editor for a month depending on how the process goes and how well they think the book has gone. Then off to the proof reader for a couple of weeks.

Lastly is all the re-reading and checking again, your last chance to change story lines and believe me it will still happen, and you will still find mistakes!

I never worry about time, much to the frustration of people around me. It might be 18 months before the book is ready to put out. I always like to take things slowly and let nature take me to those right places. I never force the issue or say it has to be done. I especially take my time when writing any prose as this is something close to my heart and needs to be just so.

My advice and it is only my opinion… never rush, think about what you want to say, listen to peoples criticisms and take away positives. Know inside out what you are writing about.

On music and lyrics

Music is very much a random process. I might be waking up or walking and a new song just comes to me. So always have a phone with a sound recorder with you so you can hum the song. I must have hundreds of bits of music stored, some might join 3 or 4 songs together and become one. Often the music, after I have eventually gone through the process of working it out, writing the chords down etc, will still hang around for a long time. Maybe it might be a year before the lyrics suddenly come or a poem ends the process. So music is a long process for me.

Again my advice would be never to sit around around trying to write because the best music rarely happens that way, it comes to me when I least expect it. Music is a wonderful spiritual process and if you are lucky enough to have new music come to you, you should count yourself very blessed. (it only happens to the few)

In reality only half a dozen reasonable songs, those that I would consider playing to anyone-else, will come to me in a year. For me in this process there is a lot of mediocre songs, I am very tough on myself.

On writing poetry

For me writing poetry is just something that happens to me when I’m working or out walking. Something will trigger in me, it might be a place, a thing or a conversation. Sometimes I might just write one line then after 10 mins the second line might come. There is no particular process. For me it comes naturally.

My advice would be to anyone writing poetry, to never sit around waiting for something to happen, because the chances are that it won’t. The other best advice is to walk somewhere different every day at various times. I would never routinely go to the same places. Try not to over think. Try to challenge yourself and write on a variation of subjects. Never throw unfinished work away.