I tend to go at my work as a writer in a pretty straightforward way: I’ll have a vague idea for a book, and I’ll sit at my desk and hammer it on my now rather geriatric Mac, beginning at the beginning, and ending at the end, with a vague middly bit in the middle. I don’t really make notes, or do character sketches, or draw up elaborate plot diagrams, with coloured pens and post-it notes. I regard most of those sorts of things as displacement activities, designed to put off the actual act of creation.
I try to write a thousand words a day. When I’m on a roll I might hit 3000. When I’m in one of my periodic troughs, I might be lucky to squeeze out a couple of hundred, and they’ll all be terrible. In either case, I’m aided by endless cups of tea, made mouth-puckeringly strong. I’ve been told that I groan, and chunter mild obscenities as I type, as though being subjected to low-grade torture.