I have the great honour of bringing you two different posts today as part of the blog tour for this absolutely fabulous thriller. The first post I have for you is a guest post written by the author, Fran Dorricott herself, all about her writing process. I don’t know about you, but I feel that this could be really useful- ENJOY, and keep an eye out for my review later today.
Fran’s Writing Process
Every book I write is different. I like to switch up my writing process a little bit each time so that I don’t feel like I’m getting stuck in too much of a rut, but there are a few things that never change no matter what I’m working on.
1. The first and most crucial step in any writing journey is making time to write. Quite often the early stages of a project are spent daydreaming. I come up with characters first usually, sometimes a hook. After the Eclipse came eclipse first, and then Olive, and then Cassie. The rest of the plot slipped in afterwards. Once I’ve spent enough time thinking, I make sure to begin scheduling physical writing time into my schedule. I work in a book shop (it’s an awesome job, but I’m often tired from days on my feet) so I often have to write around my shifts. It’s so important to make time and space for your writing! My advice is not to cut out all your other activities and hobbies (you’d be surprised how many plot twists I’ve thought of while watching reruns of The Simpsons or Law and Order: SVU) but to dial them back.
2. The other thing I make sure to do during the early stages of writing is to read. A lot. As I mentioned before, I work in a book shop so I’m nearly always reading anyway. The trick I’ve found, though, is to read something different to what I’m writing while I’m in the early stages of drafting. This is to make sure I don’t get my wires crossed! But during the daydreaming and editing phases I like to read in the genre of my project, especially choosing books by authors who really excel at what I’m struggling with in this particular project.
3. Next I have to find my ‘writing place’. I like to move around my house a lot, choosing a spot that works for a particular project. I wrote most of After the Eclipse sitting at my kitchen table. The book before that was written in my study (which, uh, I really ought to use more), and the book after I wrote largely from the sofa! It really helps me to compartmentalise if I have a working place I associate with a book, but I do get bored quite easily.
4. Another way I get myself in the right mood is by making novel-specific writing playlists and/or Pinterest boards. I go back to these whenever I feel like I’ve strayed too far from my vision and it really helps me to get back on track. Plus it’s a fun way to procrastinate when I get stuck!
5. I love to write my drafts as quickly as possible. My ideal drafting time would be around 6 weeks. I let myself obsess over a book, and I live there in the world without any sort of continuous break until I’m done. It helps me to keep in the characters’ heads, but also I have a terrible attention span so I lose track fairly quickly if I take too long of a break. I’m a fan of the phrase ‘write quick, edit slow’.
6. The final step before edits is to put it in a drawer. Or folder. I’ll send it to my agent or a friend so I can’t fiddle with it for a while. Then I’ll let it sit until I’m ready to tackle it. I’m always amazed what I miss on the first round!
These are just the things that work for me, though. I’m sure there are as many writing processes as there are writers!