Ever Rest (The Mountains Novel) in the planning stages. Scenes are roughed out in summary on index cards. I shuffle them about, stare at them, scratch my head, reorder, fill in the blanks. Sometimes the colours form a system, sometimes they don’t (here they don’t). Then I write the first draft – follow the steps in the cards and dream each scene onto the page.
Beat sheets for My Memories of a Future Life and Lifeform Three. This is an at-a-glance revision tool, letting me assess the structure and pacing. Each scene is summarised on one line with emoticons and colours to show the moods and plot strands. Red crossings-out are my reworkings. Which authors is my work like?
Notebook I made when revamping the design of Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books And How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence. I needed to check the design without taking the original book off sale so I created a dummy – with the interior a limited edition blank notebook. I rather enjoyed making it – there were blank pages to write on, plus tips sprinkled randomly to surprise the reader. (Here’s the post that explains it.) Once the redesign was launched, I gave the notebook away as a prize on my blog. If you like goodies like that, sign up for my newsletter 🙂
Another beat sheet, from the second go at Lifeform Three. Plus two desktop essentials: the thumb drive and the funky Michael Kors sunglasses case that keeps my desktop gubbins organised. As you can see, it’s fighting a losing battle.
A reading copy of my third novel, Ever Rest, ready for the red pen. Instead of printing the manuscript at home, I make a copy on the print-on-demand platform Lulu, which avoids the headache of paper jams and toner replacement, and is a nicer reading experience.
Ever Rest back on the workbench. Why does that bookstand have a horseshoe? Because of a shopping mishap. Find the full story here.
Ideas happen to me EVERYWHERE and notes get written on EVERYTHING. Fine-tuning a scene in Ever Rest.
Writer fuel. Of course. In the background, my Kindle for reading the manuscript out loud – another important proofing stage.
Following the strange: longer essay about how I write my novels
Why I write: tiny interview here