Kat Sommers on creative writing

Google+ has revealed something a colleague in the relatively far away land of Oxford Street (I work in White City) has been working on in her free time for the past 25 weeks.

Kat Sommers is writing a book. And she’s documenting the process.

Clearly the two of us are sympatico. I adore documenting everything as my extensive (yet fundamnetally dull) diaries I’ve kept over the past twenty five years illustrate perfectly. The only difference is that Kat is very good at concision and at delivering short punchy blog posts. My oh my, how much could I learn?

Kat’s latest post on her writing process and progress flag up a few gems, quoted here.

… characters shouldn’t spend long on their own. Not enough happens that way. They shouldn’t buy coffees and think about things in cafes (one of my godawful early attempts). They should bump into each other, have words, not say what they mean.

Interiority for interioity’s sake is boring – it should be used as a brief respite, an interlude that casts more light on character, a pause between scenes in which the conflict (story) unfolds, not in a straight line, but like a flower. (Or a big ugly red cross, if you’ve only got Microsoft Paint on your shitty Dell.)

And most important: as a reader, I am not aware of the overarching story. Perhaps, as I often do, when I finish the book I’ll think about all that, go over the structure in my head, break it into turning points and crises and climaxes. But at any one point in a book, I am in the moment, in that particular scene, reading as a very real problem or insight unfurls.



Follow Kat on Twitter @dogwinters

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