I’m back up for air. The past week has been consumed with entertaining friends visiting from Australia. So, I’m behind in my Clarion Write-a-thon goals, but that shall be remedied in the coming weeks. The hiatus was anticipated, and enjoyed.

At the moment the characters for my novel are emerging–dripping goo and looking about blearily–from the vats in my mind. Yesterday I was wandering through shops, only half-aware of what was happening around me, as scenes and scenarios began to take shape. I’ll let this unfold for as long as possible before I start to sketch chapter outlines and character profiles. There’s usually a tension point where I’m no longer able to contain the ideas, and then I allow them to spill forth. It’s like a gestation period; I prefer to protect the story for as long as possible before I expose it to the rough realities of pacing and plot.

In advance of my visitors arriving I did a major tidy-up and re-organisation of my section of the office, which was long overdue. I’m not a fan of clutter, but sometimes my desk gets swamped with magazines, books, bills, and notes. The worse it gets the harder it is to motivate myself to tackle the job. There’s always a terrible moment mid-way through the task, where the detritus of life is spread out around me, chaotic and overwhelming, and I despair of ever finding a clear spot on my desk again. Perseverance is the key to a lot of things in life. Over time, a system materialises and everything magically finds a place. Order is restored… for now.


  • Dante Kleinberg

    I’m always interested to hear other people’s processes. Personally, I don’t get many ideas UNTIL I sit down to flesh them out. It’s like in therapy when you only realize your problem once you’ve verbalized it.And my office is a mess…

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