Writing Your Book, with Jamie Bartlett

Bookmarked this Twitter thread back in February, but was reminded of it again over the weekend, so I thought I’d capture the content once and for all here:

Think this is true of all creative writing, even code and databases. In fact what you need is a flexibly linked system, where random and structured stuff hangs together. (eg see Scrivener link below, but anything with extensible mark-up and content searching.) That point about remembering old deleted lines in new contexts is something that happens to me ten times a day!

Everyone needs a schema, even a stream of consciousness where the characters lead the narrative. (Your schema can be minimalist of course, or just a seed if you have no preconceived story or message, see Lee Child as described by Andy Martin in “And Reacher Said Nothing”. For the other extreme see J K Rowling. Most of us will need something in between.)

See also first comment on flexible, extensible mark-up process. Need a low-tech way of capturing (and finding) thoughts that “feel” relevant in the moment at any time – and crash on with drafting when the muse strikes.

Copyright acknowledged.
If and when Jamie collates and publishes, I will delete and link.

I think here the message is variety and horses for courses. As Jamie says there are in fact many different tasks besides “writing” you need to make space(s) for all of them.

And as Jamie notes, plenty of side-branches with additional thoughts from others – that’s extensible mark-up 😉


Also published on Medium.

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