Friday, March 18, 2022

The (Not) Writing Process


Being at the final edit stage of book ?? ( insert some number between 10 and 20) I thought I’d diarize my approach to the process. So that you can avoid it.

Every novel starts with the Bright Idea. The Bright Idea is a nasty little beastie and not to be trusted. Certainly don’t trust it for the next 100 000 words.

Write a really great prologue.

Write 100 000 words with only some of them in the right order.

Lie down

Wonder what happened to the book that was supposed to be written

Then read through.

Buy a big red pen.

Hope agent doesn’t notice it’s not the book offered on the synopsis.

Notice that every character is called Brian, especially the women. In the age of trans gender the latter may not be a problem.

Notice that there are two Wednesdays in the novel week.

Sort out the eight days in the week issue

Notice a big word that I might not have used correctly; google meaning.

Realise that there’s no Friday in the book.

Use a lot of red pen

While googling more words, look at some videos of Staffie puppies  in the snow.

All surnames start with a C  (or a K ). A really bad habit of mine. I might need to see an expert about this.

Notice dialogue with characters after they are dead. Think about writing Séance scene as that might be easier than rewriting dialogue.

Characters are driving west when it should be east. Well they are going east overall but they are driving around a peninsula. Technically  they are driving west as they are on the sticky out bit. Does this count. Draw some maps.

The big scene at the end where nobody knows what’s going on, especially the characters. Or me. Is a bullet in the back of the head always fatal. Might need that character in a later book. Character now has flesh wound to the shoulder.

Rewrite the prologue. First prologue has nothing to do with the story at all


Google more maps. Look at something interesting in the wee pop up picture, usually Peru.

Ditch the prologue

Write another prologue. Think about the main character coming back from Peru.

Colour the maps in. Use lots of colours.


Press ‘Find’ to calculate the number of semi colons. It’s a fair lot. Decide to learn how to use Semi Colons. Ponder how I passed my higher English exam so well but then that’s because I knew my Shakespeare and always had a good grasp on what Polonius was doing behind the arras.

Watch some videos of kittens in the snow.

Probably while moving a pencil sharpener along the road like a car.

Find a character  really annoying. Kill them

Write another prologue

Ditch the big idea

Ditch the scene of the car driving the peninsula


Eat chocolate

Listen to audiobook to get my book out my head

Rewrite book cause audiobook had a good idea

Realise that your characters are changing character or changing names. Why can’t they just stay as they are and stop messing around.

Find out you need character that you have just killed off.  Lazarus moment needed

Find a really good titbit about forensics, shape the other 100,000 words round this.

Think that the book is still rubbish but the deadline has arrived.

Send book off.

Have REALLY good idea about the prologue once  SEND has been pressed.

Promise never to write another book and do something simple like brain surgery.

Wake up at three in the morning with a Bright Idea….

Write a really great prologue.




  1. Now, I'm dying to read a really good prologue... LMAO

    1. When you read the really good prologue, can you send it to me? I'm always in need of one.

  2. I need a puppies in the snow moment. Though kitties should work until I start sneezing.

    1. Insert joke here about that being a purrfect catastrophe.....

    2. You know, I think if I sat in a room for five minutes listening to the two of your riff off of each other, my head would explode.

  3. OK, Caro, how have you managed to activate my webcam remotely and record my entire writing process...?

    1. I think it's just the recognition between us creative geniuses - it's the way we roll.

  4. Zoë, you beat me to it. I'm going to sue Caro for plagiarising my writing process.

    1. I feel some kind of support group coming on.....

  5. The description is fundamentally flawed. No writer could possibly keep going with only one dose of chocolate. To say nothing of the complete absence of expletives and obscenities.

    1. One dose of chocolate, yes, Annamaria. But nobody said anything about how large that one dose might be...