Guest Post: Eva Holland on “How I Write”

Howling Reviews Guest Review

Eva Holland is the Debut Author of The Daughter’s Secret – which I’m currently reading so keep and eye out for a review later this month!

 When I started writing my novel, The Daughter’s Secret, I spent a lot of time worrying about my writing process. Or, to be more precise, worrying about my lack of a writing process. I would listen  o other writers talk about their processes – their planning and research phases, the way they outlined chapters and scenes, their detailed plot diagrams – and feel the chill of despair. I couldn’t work like that. I had tried and failed. I would sit down intending to write a plan and find myself writing a scene instead. That would spark another idea, another scene. Before long I would have a chapter.
Eventually I stopped fighting it. I knew where The Daughter’s Secret began and where it would end. I knew the story would unfold over the eleven days between Rosalind Simm discovering that the teacher her teenage daughter had had a relationship with was going to be released early from prison and the day of his scheduled release. I wrote furiously, the story tumbling out of me and onto the page over a couple of months. The result was ugly and ragged – it was a long way from being a novel – but the story was all there: beginning, middle and end. I printed it out, read it and made a list of its many major flaws. Then I opened a blank Word document and started from the beginning again. Very few of the words from my first draft made it into draft two, but it was in the space between those two drafts, in the act of considering every word, every sentence, every scene, that the novel started to take on its final form.
It is only with hindsight that I realised there was a degree of method in my madness. More than that, it was a method that worked for me and reflected the way I go about my life outside writing. I’m not a planner by nature and am often driven as much by feeling as thought, so why should my writing process be any different? Now I am working on my second novel and going about it in much the same way as my first. I have a solid idea of how the novel begins and ends, I know my characters inside out and I know the period of time over which the plot unfolds. The words are flowing and my first draft is well underway. This time I know that no one else’s writing process matters – the only thing that is important is that I have found a way that works for me.
To hear more from Eva you can find her @HollandEva or
To buy and get more info about The Daughter’s Secret:
What is your writing process? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @KyraWolf289!

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