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Ross Mackenzie

Writing Process


Author of the brilliantly vivid 'Evernight' and 'Feast of the Evernight' writes about his creative process.


My review of 'Feast of the Evernight' is here.

I’m often asked about my writing process, and I must say it’s something I’ve always been curious about when it comes to other authors. Do they plan what’s going to happen in their stories, or fly by the seat of their pants? Do they write by hand or on computer? Do they work in offices? At home? In a secret underground chamber?

Me? I work at home, in a quiet room. If I can find one. I drink lots of coffee. Some days (rare, I admit) I’ll write five thousand words. Other days I might write five. And they’re all rubbish.

I don’t tend to write ideas down. I’ve found that my head is a sort of filter. The bad ideas go away, and the good ones – or at least the ones I hope might become good – stick around. It’s a bit like panning for gold.

And once I have that shining little golden nugget of an idea, it’s time to polish it up. How do I do that? By asking questions. By daydreaming and poking around with characters and scenes and settings. And then, when I’m sure that this… THIS is the idea that I’ve been waiting for all my life, I start to write, one word at a time, and let the characters come to life.

Do I plan? A little. I like to have certain signpost scenes to aim for, but apart from that I let my characters take my hand and lead the way into the wilds of the story.

Sometimes we get lost. Sometimes we hit a dead end and have to turn back and start again.

And sometimes, just sometimes, we find treasure.

Thanks for sharing, Ross!



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