Q: What’s a typical writing day like for you?

A: This is the dream of the typical writing day: I rise late and drink good strong coffee while looking back through the previous day’s draft. I then spend the day adding new words to my latest story and they’re all perfect.

The reality is somewhat different. I try to read the previous day’s draft either over a hurried coffee or on my commute to the office.

At lunch I find a quiet spot to sit with my laptop and write. Sometimes I’m working on a story, but a lot of the time I’m doodling with words. I keep the writers’ equivalent of a sketchbook and fill it with story fragments, ideas and scenes. You never know when you’ll find a nugget of gold in there that turns into a story or a novel.

Writing at lunch takes the pressure off, so by the evening I look at the current project. I usually revise the previous day’s words before I add new ones. Sometimes I have to go all the way to the beginning to seed new information and events, so I’m constantly revising as well as adding new material. I like to call this writing method “looping revisionary chaos”….


Jonathan Laidlow’s story “The Astronaut Tier” was
published on Friday, 26 October 2018.

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