Writing and Process

Crime fiction is wide-ranging genre with many subgenres. The genre can encompass “cops and robbers”, cozies, whodunnits, and beyond to serial killers and psychological thrillers. But the genre can also be a lens through which to view society and to consider …

last updated: 28 March 2019; tags: genre  crime fiction 

Many authors approach working with editors from the wrong direction looking to the downsides and not to the benefits that a healthy partnership can bring. Perhaps I can suggest a different way to approach working with an editor.

last updated: 31 January 2019; tags: editor 

Categories and tags are applied to Write Once, Then Link posts to classify the content. Here’s an explanation of how categories and tags have been implemented on this site and how they can help you find what you’re looking for.

last updated: 20 November 2018; tags: tagging  housekeeping 

Many authors use word count as a measure of how much work they have completed. While there are benefits to this approach, focusing at the word count loses sight of the work that is necessary to get the words down. A better approach may be to use the Pomodoro technique …

last updated: 17 November 2018; tags: time management  Pomodoro technique  timer 

The maxim never do today what you can put off until tomorrow probably sounds like the ultimate justification for laziness. In truth, it’s one of the best ways to focus and improve productivity.

last updated: 7 November 2018; tags: time management  priorities 

There’s a notion about multitasking—it’s touted as a route to efficiency and greater productivity. In reality, it’s one of the most counter-productive approaches to working.

last updated: 19 October 2018; tags: time management  multitasking 

For every book I have written there’s always something special for me as the author. Sometimes I’ve just tried something different and it worked and at other times it can be a character that I feel was realized especially well. Whatever the book, if …

last updated: 12 June 2018; people: Clementina  tags: High Five  Bag Man  Paris 

I am a British subject and my language is English, but let me suggest a heresy: American English spellings (and grammatical practices) should be preferred over British spellings.

last updated: 8 May 2018; tags: British English  American English 

I’m going to take a controversial line for someone who makes his living by scribbling down words: Spelling doesn’t matter. At least, it doesn’t matter as much as people make out and it doesn’t matter for the reasons they think it does. What …

last updated: 10 April 2018; tags: spelling  British English  American English 

From time to time I get questions about bad language in my books. There are variants on this question, but it mostly boils down to: will I be offended by something in one of your books, Simon? In short, maybe, but I hope not. Or at least, I hope you will agree that any …

last updated: 9 January 2018; tags: bad language  offense  Ofcom 

I recently posted a first chapter from a possible future book. Having posted this chapter, I had some questions from, and conversations with readers about historical accuracy and my approach to the concept.

last updated: 10 October 2017; tags: historical series 

This post looks at some of my considerations and the decisions I made when writing the first chapter of an (as yet unpublished) novel which will be set in the mid 18th century.

last updated: 12 September 2017; tags: historical series  first scene 

I recently posted a first chapter from a possible future book. Having posted this chapter, many people were kind enough to give me their comments. I had some very interesting conversations with readers and want to share a flavor of those exchanges.

last updated: 12 September 2017; tags: historical series 

I’m working on a new (as yet untitled) series of books that will see me return to London as a setting. I thought it might be interesting for readers to see a work-in-progress while it’s actually in progress.

last updated: 8 August 2017; tags: historical series 

This is a very early draft of the first chapter from a novel which will be set in the mid 18th century.

last updated: 8 August 2017; tags: chapter one  historical series 

I was asked the question: Do you wear anything when you’re writing? The question was less about whether I wear clothes, or otherwise, and more about whether I wear anything in particular.

last updated: 13 June 2017; tags: clothes  cat 

Many people think jealousy and envy are the same thing? However, the two concepts—the two underlying emotions—are very different notions.

last updated: 14 February 2017; tags: jealousy  envy