The Writing Process Behind.... A Rebel At Pennington's

If you were to ask two authors to define their writing process, I am quietly confident in saying that their answers would be very different. When aspiring writers start out on their journey, they often look for courses and books, talk to published authors and friends looking for the ‘right way’ to write a book.

I’ll let you into a pretty well-known secret…THERE ISN’T A RIGHT WAY!

A Rebel At Pennington’s is my twenty-first novel to be published since I started writing books in 2007.

It is safe to say that it took me YEARS to perfect a process that works for me and the same will be true of most other novelists, too.

Writing my historical novels, as opposed to my contemporary work, involves a lot of research and research was where I began A Rebel At Pennington’s. I was lucky enough to have my heroine for this book emerge in the first novel in the series, The Mistress of Pennington’s, so I knew whose story I was telling from the outset. *Both books can be read stand-alone*

I had also already established the setting… Pennington’s Department Store and the city of Bath.

All good so far.

I wanted the backdrop for A Rebel At Pennington’s to be women’s suffrage so I started the process by reading A LOT of reference books, trawling articles on the internet and at the library, and attending talks for the centenary of women being granted the vote.

The more I learned, the more stories of real-life heroines who played a part in the fight emerged. Their stories fascinated and inspired me. I quickly imagined my heroine, Esther Stanbury, carrying some of the traits of these women and sharing in their actions. With the character becoming ever clearer in my mind, I needed to create a hero to enhance Esther’s life and battles. A man she could fall in love with, respect and want to share the rest of her life…and along came Lawrence Culford.

These two characters were an absolute joy to write and I was immersed in their world from beginning to end.

I then plotted out the chapters of A Rebel At Pennington’s, taking into account Esther and Lawrence’s goals, motivations and conflicts and then jumped (as I always do these days!) straight into writing the first draft without looking back.

This is my process for every book these days and, for me, it works. Allowing myself to write ‘a crappy first draft’ has quadrupled my output compared to the days when I used to perfect a chapter before moving onto the next. Writing a first draft, without putting too much pressure on yourself, is the advice I give to all aspiring writers. It’s liberating. It means you will have a finished book after however many months it takes to complete it. It means you can ALWAYS go back, tweak, change, delete and add as you wish in the following drafts.

Writing should be fun and working this way means it always is to me!

I hope you enjoy A Rebel At Pennington’s and happy reading J

Buy Links:

No comments

Post a Comment