How I Write a Book
People quite often ask me how you go about writing a book. Well, I guess there are as many different methods as there are writers (although most of them probably involve some kind of pen, laptop and chocolate-based incentive!). Anyway, I thought you might like to know about my way…
First of all, I get an idea. If it’s for the next book in the series, I might read back through the others to get into the world of the characters, and see where it feels like they want to go next. Or if it’s for a new series, I do a lot of daydreaming about what I might want to write (if you see me in a cafe staring into space that might be what I’m up to!). Then I do lots of reading (even more than usual!), and checking out the shelves at libraries and bookshops to make sure there’s nothing too similar already out there.
Then I write loads of scribbly notes, and build them up into synopses, then chapter plans and finally the first draft of the book (yippee!). Mostly this happens at my desk (which is where I am now, writing to you) or on my bed or sprawled on the sofa or at the kitchen table next to Holly’s art session (in which case the notes will be covered in glitter!).
However, sometimes while writing a book, I am allowed to go OUT and see another PERSON (I mean, a grown up one!). This could be to meet up with one of my editors or my agent, to talk about a synopsis, or an edit of a draft I’ve given in. I know people say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but when you’re a writer there sometimes actually is (or brunch, or tea and cakes…). Last week I was out with my editor Katie from Stripes, to talk about the next book in a new series that we’re working on.
Finally, I go back to my desk, work on my draft until I’m fairly happy with it, then print it off and read through it tons of times, making even more changes and corrections. And then… the dreaded day comes… and it’s time to hand it over to my editor – well, attach it to an e-mail and click ‘send’, anyway.
Chuck in a few Curly Wurlys, a couple of late nights, some trying on of clothes and shoes I think my characters would like in shops (weird but helpful!) and some checking out locations where they might hang out, and that’s pretty much how I write a book.