Guest author: Graeme Cumming – Self help in writing

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Photo: Sue Vincent

When I wrote Ravens Gathering, I knew it needed plotting carefully. There were several twists in it, and garden paths needed laying for the reader to be led up – difficult to do if you start with no real sense of direction.

So I decamped to Spain for a week and spent each morning on a balcony with a sea view in front of me and mountains either side. There are worse places to sit with a pen and A4 pad.

Over the course of that week, I wrote the outline. I started by writing out the events in chronological order, giving me a timeline. But, of course, that’s not the order you reveal things in. I also had to bear in mind that, although some of the events took place over decades, the core story needed telling over a few days. So it was like…

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