Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

My Writing Process Is Not Like Skiing (anymore)

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One of my first blog posts ever was about skiing. Another post compared my fear of skiing with my fear of writing. I come to you, fresh off the slopes, where I did not ski, but where I let my family members throw themselves up and down mountains while I ensconced myself safely in coffee shops to write. Wordage! I achieved it. I am happy. But not complacent … never that.

ski

Non-writers doing stuff on mountains

On my return, I find that my friend Kate Kelly author of Red Rock (a cli-fi thriller for age 10+) has tagged me for a post on my writing process. I am very happy to oblige, and indeed, very relieved that she asks no questions about skiing.

So, onward!

1. What am I working on?

I am working on my second novel. It is crime fiction, and part two in a series starring Maggie Cloete, crime reporter at The Gazette, Pietermaritzburg’s only daily newspaper.

2. How does my work differ from others?

I think it’s the only crime fiction about a crime reporter working on a newspaper in Pietermaritzburg.

3. Why do I write what I do?

It’s what I know. I used to be a crime reporter on a newspaper in Pietermaritzburg.

4. How does my writing process work?

I write in clumps – big bursts in short periods of time. It is not ideal and I believe that writers need a daily writing practice but that does not work for me since I work full time and I have a houseful of humans who need me. I wrote my first novel, Balthasar’s Gift (published in Germany in  2013 and due out in South Africa this year) over a period of five years. Since I had no idea what the book was going to be about, I had to write my way into the story. Plus I also had to learn how to write a novel, and this took time and many, many  drafts.

This time, now that I know the book and I know that it is crime fiction about crime reporter on a daily in Pietermaritzburg and I have a two-page plot plan, the process is quicker and more efficient.

Having said that, it still requires a similar amount of day-dreaming, of percolating and composting, of going for walks and wrestling with plot angles in my head, or sitting in coffee shops and staring out the window. That will never change. The process is as it will be.

Writers, please tag yourselves!

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Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

4 thoughts on “My Writing Process Is Not Like Skiing (anymore)

  1. Very exciting that your book is coming out here soon! And very glad that daydreaming and percolating is an essential part of your writing process. I seem to do plenty of that even though it’s articles and not novels that I’m writing.

  2. I like the idea of celebrating daydreaming, percolating and composting! I do these all the time – and while I’m not writing anything that I really enjoy (case management is not that enjoyable), I too aspire to the time when I can write “real stories’. All the best for Novel #2. And I can’t wait for the launch of Balthasar’s Gift in SA in 2014. :-)

  3. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I feel that you can do with some percent to drive the message house a little bit, however other than that, that is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  4. I wondered how your second novel was coming along – and when you were finding the time to write it. I’m so glad that you are. Would you ever consider writing a book review for us at Shiny New Books? Only I saw an interesting SA crime novel about to be published that made me think of you….

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