Sunday 13 November 2016

Creative Process and Planning in the Writing of a Novel

After thirty years of writing novels -  now embarking on a big project – my unique writing process is very much on my mind.

Writing is about the process – the organic growth over time of a whole new world. It is equally about the prose – the right illuminating word in the right place.

And writing is about creative planning. This is not planning that chokes the life out of the idea to make you, the writer, feel safe. Creative planning is a tough demanding process which involves making human insightful decisions and logical connections to create an original compelling narrative.

Inevitably in my case this has meant that each story is very different to the others. The only things my novels have in common is – I hope – the quality of the writing and the human values at its heart. I am so happy that clever readers recognise this and come back for more.

My three latest novels might illustrate this for you.

On Amazon
The Bad Child focuses on the life of Dee, an urban middle class child who is seen as disturbed but who is the architect of her own recovery as she swims lakes and travels through England. We see her story and the o0ther characters  through Dee's eyes.

On Amazon
Writing at the Maison Bleue  is about the unravelling lives of a group of very different and variously successful writers who meet and write in a house in the Languedoc. Their stories weave together to make an historic story of murder and betrayal.

On Amazon
The Pathfinder, set as the Roman occupation of Britain crumbles, when the original people of the island – the makers of the old tracks and paths – emerge to take back their own. At the centre are the true figures of a Cambrian tribal princess and the last military leader of Britain, later a ‘usurper’ of the title of Roman Emperor.

On Amazon
A Woman Scorned. Based on the true story of so called (not by me…) ‘serial killer’ Mary Ann Cotton, this story – see through the eyes of London outsider, based on all available evidence – comes to a very different conclusion that those who condemned her  in a curiously modern chorus of gossip, stereotype, envy, primitive forensics and press sensationalism.

As you will see, these stories are very different to each other. Each evolved its own unique identity through time in the process of creative planning. And each novel, I hope, shares with the others some great, unique characters, the values of historic insight, a feeling for justice and an abhorrence of the cruelty of stereotyping which exists in our own present day.

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