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.
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.
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!