My Writing Process

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 | 2 comments

Frost Hollow HallThanks to fellow Author Allsort Emma Carroll for tagging me into the #MyWritingProcess meme. Emma’s the author of Frost Hollow Hall, a beautifully atmospheric Middle Grade Victorian ghost story which came out in October. I just recently read Frost Hollow Hall, so it was fascinating to read Emma’s answers in her post.

Here are mine…

1. What Am I Working On?

I’m currently playing with an idea I had last year, and have only recently had time to work on. Glimpse is set in the present day yet based on an old poem—Noyes’ ‘The Highwayman‘—so I’m experimenting with something similar with another of my favourite poems, Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. I’m only partway into my first draft, and don’t know if this story will ever make it outside my laptop, but I’m loving it so far (despite the need for frequent research breaks—I need a marine biologist on call!).

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others?

The fact I based Glimpse and my new WIP on poems is a big reason. There are countless YA fairy tale retellings, but poem-based stories…not so much. I also try to be really inventive with my source material. Neither Glimpse nor my WIP are retellings, and both use their original poem in different ways—one being a ghost story with one foot in the past, and the other a very modern urban fantasy.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

Glimpse and my current WIP are the perfect way to combine my two literary passions: modern YA and classic gothic fiction. I love gothic fiction for its drama, ghosts, castles and dungeons, and theatrical explorations of big themes like love and death. But I love YA *even more*, and have a soft spot for contemporary romance, which is very un-paranormal (two of my favourite YA novels are Anna and the French Kiss and Just One Day). I try to combine the two in my writing—the darkness of gothic and the everyday wonder of contemporary.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

I tend to get new story ideas in the middle of working on something else, so they usually get at least a few months (sometimes much longer) to marinate in my head. My next step is to write out a synopsis and plan. I didn’t always do this, but I’ve discovered I’m a better plotter than pantster. Then comes a first draft—which I find the toughest part of the process—edits, sending to beta readers, more edits, and eventually a finished novel. (Makes it sound so easy!)


To share their writing processes next, I’m tagging….

Rachel Russell, author of YA fantasy Harvester (which is out very soon—next month!). Rachel’s also a Submissions Coordinator, Editorial Assistant, and freelance editor.


Fellow Author Allsort, Kerry Drewery, author of YA novels A Dream of Lights (awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the Northeast Book Awards) and A Brighter Fear.


Emma Newrick, ghostwriter and writer of magazines and fiction. Look out for an interview with her on the blog soon!


  1. A great post- love the idea of basing a novel around a poem! :0)

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