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Pauline Rowson on writing routines

Pauline RowsonI'm often asked if I have a writing routine. There are writers who write the same time every day come what may; others who will write a certain number of words each day and when they've done their quota, they'll knock off. Me? I have no real set routine but I do like to write every day, speaking engagements permitting.

Usually I write every evening between 5pm and 7.30pm. I also write Saturday and Sunday mornings and also often in the afternoons depending on my commitments. Occasionally, during the week, when not out walking, I'll snatch an hour in the morning.
Some days when the words flow or I am at a critical stage of writing - usually at the end of the first draft of a novel - I am keen to crack on and write as much as I can. This can result in me spending all day at my computer. Not good for me, but I do get up occasionally.

Pauline Rowson on location for DI Andy Horton MysteryOther days I will struggle to find the correct words and the creative flow will trickle to a halt. If the latter happens I usually pick up my knitting, do some sewing or go for a walk while my mind works away at the snag with the plot or with a character.

Writing a novel also involves research and because my crime novels are set in the area in which I live I do a lot of research on location, walking Inspector Andy Horton's patch, which is Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight. (Alright so I can't walk on water but I can traverse the Solent by boat).  I also travel to the locations used in the Art Marvik marine thrillers, Dorset, the Hampshire coast and East and West Sussex.

But writing isn't only about pounding away at a keyboard, writers also spend a great deal of time staring into space - thinking! (That's where the knitting comes in handy, I can knit and think at the same time). My mind is constantly working, thinking through the plots or sub plots and developing characters. Time will also be spent mapping out the plot lines and developing and researching the background of my characters, their personalities and motivations.

And  then there are copy edits to be checked and proofs to be read. Plenty there to fill the days and more.

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AUGUST 6TH, 2013 @ 6:32:07 BST

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