As anyone who has ever tried well knows, the first rule for writing a successful novel is that there are no rules.
Or, if you like, there are dozens of rules and innumerable variations upon them.
In recent days there has been further proof of this in newspaper interview revelations about their writing days with two highly successful authors.
Susan Hill (best known for The Woman in Black) saysshe thinks a lot before starting a book, makes a few notes, and then begins writing.
“I could never plot it out, chapter by chapter, as I’d go crazy with boredom,” says Hill. “I usually do one draft, then tidy it up.”
Storyteller (and celebrity jailbird) Jeffrey Archer reckons he can complete the first draft in fifty days, which include two hours each day of rereading what he has written. And after that come fourteen or more drafts.
“There are no shortcuts,” he states.
Plot, plot, plot and revise, revise, revise … or charge ahead, not knowing where your muse will take you, and let it be?
And they are only two possibilities among many.