Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pauline Rowson's Blog - Part Two

Continuing on from yesterday's piece, here is the rest of Pauline's blog...

How do you research your novels?

At the same time as working on characters and plots I am conducting the research for the novel. This is done by talking to experts, consulting the Internet and relevant books, and of course visiting the police. However, once I have the basics of the plot, characters and research I can’t wait to start the creative writing process with an urge to complete it as quickly as possible. In fact, I often wish I could brain dump straight on to the computer without having to touch the keyboard. I then continue the research process as I write. On the first draft I often don’t know the ending or even ‘who done it’ because the whole novel doesn’t come alive until Horton starts investigating and gets into all sorts of trouble as a result.
Plots and revisions

As I write, the plot becomes more and more interesting and complex, full of twists and turns so much so that I often tie myself up in knots! That’s when I need to stop writing and do some more hard thinking. I need to revisit the plot (or even re-invent it) to ensure that what I am actually creating is believable, exciting and full of tension.

Once the first draft is complete the revisions begin. Writing a crime novel also takes fantastic organisational skills because all the bits of the plot and sub plots need to add up. If you change one thing on revisions then you find you have to change everything.

How do you feel when you tap out the immortal words THE END at the completion of a novel?

Well, it really depends on which draft I am writing. After the first draft there is a feeling of elation - I have finally managed to reach THE END after bashing out, as quickly as I can, somewhere between 80,000 to 100,000 words. With the second draft comes a greater sense of satisfaction that all the ends are beginning to tie up neatly. The third and fourth drafts fine tune the novel and by the time I’ve reached the fifth and sixth I’m beginning to know it backwards, up side down and inside out and can no longer see where the glaring holes are – time to get a second opinion from my editor.

But always, no matter how many drafts it takes to get to the final version, when I reach THE END I feel a shiver up (or should that be down?) my spine. This can be a shiver of satisfaction or excitement or both, and if I feel that then hopefully my readers will feel it too.

A big thank you to Pauline for writing this fantastic blog, we hope you enjoyed it! Have a look here to see some of Pauline's other titles.


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