The new book and writing about yourself

I haven’t blogged about this one at all yet. But it means a lot to me.

I’ve been writing this one since October, with a few mini breaks in between to rethink, replan, rejig, and – the usual – fret.

Why is this book different?

This will be my third novel, but not my third book. I already have two poetry collections and a further four books which are in the mists of the publishing cog-field (though these aren’t exactly novels).

Unlike my two previous novels, this one has a bit of a personal slant. It’s still fiction, speculative, creepy, and – hopefully – immersive, but it’s about something that’s been at the forefront of my life for the past few years. And with that comes a lot of doubt.

Seasons of doubt

I’ve been up and down about this book. At times I’ve thought it might be the most important thing I’ll ever write. At others, I’ve literally thought, ‘what a load of old guff’. But isn’t that normal with the first draft?

It’s a process of discovery, after all.

But I’m coming to the end of that, now. Though I still have around 15K to write, I’m close enough to the end to smell it. And then the next stage of hard work will begin. The sifting. The rewriting. The deleting. The seeing things in a new light.

I’ve always enjoyed the editing stage. Approaching the second draft is the most daunting stage of all, but once I’ve shattered my paralysis, I do actually enjoy it. What I DON’T necessarily enjoy is the prospect of an entire rewrite, which is what I usually do but am very keen to avoid this time.

Planning, planning, planning

Years ago, I did try using Scrivener to plan as I wrote, but something about the platform gave me the heebie jeebies. I didn’t like the appearance of the words when I wrote them. I didn’t like the constant presence of the plan when I was writing (yes, I’m fussy!)

Usually, I’m a fan of big paper and colourful pens. Pretty basic. But this time I’ve created what can only be described as a mega spreadsheet, and it’s been perrrrrfect. I have tabs and charts for everything, including:

  • Plot
  • Word count
  • Chapters
  • Character notes
  • Themes
  • Quotes
  • Setting descriptions
  • Scenes to add in later
  • Notes to myself

… and more. In fact, it’s working out so well that I’m sure I’ll be able to avoid that dreaded rewrite! Though please, don’t quote me on that.

What else is happening this year?

It ought to be a busy year, this.

Mothtown is due for release in November. We’ve just recently signed off the cover, and there should be an official reveal of that soon. 😊

I’m also still working on my other projects with my mentor and collaborator, and we’re at the exciting point this month of actually sharing it with an intrigued publisher. I could almost explode with how exciting it all it. I can’t wait to write more about it.

I’m writing my next novel, I think we already established that. 😊

And it’s a bit year for us personally. We have a lot going on, a lot of commitments. It’s already flying by, a lesson in seizing the day and making the most of the moment you’re in – whether that means picking up the pen for a bit or sitting outside in the fresh air, thinking of absolutely nothing.

Until next time,



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