Friday, April 21, 2006

Discussion post: How to write a novel

On Tuesday I gave a writing workshop at Egham Library, Surrey, as part of Runnymede Literature Festival. We covered two basics - characterisation and plotting. And it got me thinking back to how I wrote Perfidy and Perfection.

~ When? ~
It was mostly written in the spring/summer of 2004, with later revisions and edits.

~ How? ~
Perfidy and Perfection was actually the first book I've written where I planned a plot. I didn't stick to the plot I planned, but at least I tried! I wrote down a list of chapter numbers in my notebook and then sketched out briefly, in no more than a couple of lines, what could happen in each chapter. I'd had ideas churning around in my head for some weeks before I did this process, which only took say ten minutes. Even though I didn't stick to it, my plot outline probably helped.

I tend to work on a scene by scene basis, and P&P was no exception. I wanted to keep the pace fast-moving and snappy withg lively dialogue, and so I concentrated on these aspects as I was writing the first draft. I came back later to add in descriptive and action details to make sure it read as a fully rounded story.

~ Inspiration ~
Wide and varied. Too much to mention here. However, I'd been selling some old gardening books a friend had rescued from a skip on eBay. Specifically books about Irises. So that's where the Irises in the story come from!


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