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Is the Author’s Method Important?

Yes, it is – but it’s totally individual. No two authors write in the same way. Some rise at 5, work until ten, then stop for the day; some have music playing; others have rigid, fixed times in their day to write. From my first novel, I fell into a routine and it’s now my normal modus operandi – it works for me. 

How do I start?

I construct the story in my head – The characters? The period? The place? Next, I’ll start my research. What do I need to tell my story and yet be faithful to historical dates and events? I keep a list of medieval male and female names.

Now for my spider diagram – a picture of the tale. I know my opening chapter and I write it, longhand onto an A4 ruled pad. I guess that a chapter of about 12-16 pages, handwritten, is optimum. I’d have to have a specific reason to make it, say, 8 or 20. I always use the same pen! Ideas come to me at any time of day and, unless I jot them down, they disappear forever – I always have a notebook with me.


And now, to my Mac, and when it’s typed I go back looking for any highlighted ‘incorrect’ words and amend as necessary. By now, it’s had 2 edits in the writing and typing processes.

I’m lucky to have an author friend who revises each chapter – this being edit 3. A final examination, number 4, and I’m confident to move on.

Ready for Publishing

So, at the point when I submit the completed manuscript to my publisher, it should be fit for purpose. I have author friends who howl at me still writing in longhand but, it is what it is and it works for me.


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    by John Bentley

    26th March, 2022

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