Richard Harland on Writing

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on Writing


I'm old-fashioned in the way I write, with pen and paper. Typing on computer is too distracting for me, I'm always conscious of the screen and keyboard. Writing by hand I can do without thinking about it. Also, I like to scribble all over the page, with different versions and insertions and arrows and stuff. But when I've got a couple of paragraphs settled, say ten or twenty lines, I go and type them up on the computer. Which sort of finalises them and leaves them behind.

When I'm into the actual writing, I often hit a wall about twenty or thirty pages in. I was very sure about the opening dramatic scenes – but beyond them, suddenly, there too many possible ways of playing the next developments. This is the stage where the novel shows its full size – I don't panic about it any more, because I expect it.

The sheer joy of writing is towards the end – provided I've done the setting-up right. Then events unfold by themselves up to and into the climax. The downhill charge, as the gigantic beast heads home! It's exhilerating, a total high, and I wouldn't swap it for anything.


Developing A Writing Routine
Planning & Preparation
Writing Through The Novel





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Richard Harland.