The Enid Blyton Society

How Do We Write?

Anything goes! Use this forum to get to know each other.

How Do We Write?

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 21:16

Split from 'New Weekly Serial'.

Chrissie777 wrote:
Rob Houghton wrote:Well, I'm not sure about Julie, but I'm writing one as we speak - but its a Barney Mystery - so unlikely to see the light of day for a while...then I hope to continue with a Famous Five, or whatever else I fancy. I'm purposefully not reading Julie's current serial because I don't want to be influenced in any way, but will read it when I complete the writing of mine. At the moment its called 'The Rawlins' Reach Mystery'. :-D


Rob, an RR and a FF novel would be great!
I think I've never asked you how long it takes you to finish writing one mystery?
And how many do you write per year?


Well, until I wrote Five Go Off On A Narrowboat last year I hadn't written an Enid Blyton novel since about 2001! ;-)

The Narrowboat book took about 3 and a half weeks to write, plus a couple of weeks to edit etc. This current one is taking longer but its a longer book - about 30 chapters. I'm currently on chapter 16 and have been writing it since mid January. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Machupicchu14 » 20 Feb 2017, 21:24

That's very fast Rob!! I mean, writing an FF book would take me at least 3 months...
Can't wait to read your next book!!!!!!
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love"
Lev Tolstoy


You can call me Machupicchu14 or María Esther

Society Member
User avatar
Machupicchu14
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: 06 Feb 2016, 15:57
Location: Co. Kerry. Ireland
Favourite book/series: The Famous Five
Favourite character: Timmy and George Kirrin

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 21:30

I try and write them pretty fast if I can, as Enid wrote hers fast - but I can't quite complete one in only five days as she often did!!! :lol:
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Machupicchu14 » 20 Feb 2017, 21:41

I really don't get how she did it!! And as her daughters say, she also did other things during the day other than writing..
For me, planning an adventure is the most difficult part..
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love"
Lev Tolstoy


You can call me Machupicchu14 or María Esther

Society Member
User avatar
Machupicchu14
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: 06 Feb 2016, 15:57
Location: Co. Kerry. Ireland
Favourite book/series: The Famous Five
Favourite character: Timmy and George Kirrin

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 21:44

Rob Houghton wrote:Well, until I wrote Five Go Off On A Narrowboat last year I hadn't written an Enid Blyton novel since about 2001! ;-)
The Narrowboat book took about 3 and a half weeks to write, plus a couple of weeks to edit etc. This current one is taking longer but its a longer book - about 30 chapters. I'm currently on chapter 16 and have been writing it since mid January. :-)


Rob, I once wrote an (unpublished) novel in 1996. It took me 3 months, the result was about 240 pages. I didn't do anything else for the first 4 weeks while I was written sick (broken foot) for 3 weeks and added an extra week of vacation days, so I know how much work it is.
The more I appreciate your efforts that you put into these continuation stories. 8)
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 22:16

Machupicchu14 wrote:I really don't get how she did it!! And as her daughters say, she also did other things during the day other than writing..
For me, planning an adventure is the most difficult part..


I feel a bit bad filling up this thread talking about my writing - maybe we should have a separate thread! :oops:

The thread has now been split.

When I write an Enid Blyton story, I actually do very little planning. I don't work to a plan. I find that if I have too detailed a plan it 'kills' the story. I start with an initial idea (for example with 'Narrowboat' I decided on a Famous Five set on a narrowboat which was secretly being used by baddies, and an idea that one of the Five would be accidentally towed away on it). That was all. the rest comes as I write - usually as I'm going to sleep - so I keep a notepad by the bed to scribble ideas on. This is the single most important piece of advice I ever read - in a 'how to write novels' book I once had. Even dreams can sometimes provide inspiration.

I've never been an 'ideas man' - the ideas just appear. If I have to think of things, then usually it takes ages.

The book I'm writing at the moment, I had a few rough ideas - which I won't disclose here as I'm still writing - and the rest come as I write. I know the rough ending - but where it goes between chapter 16 and the end I'm not entirely sure until I write it!! :lol:

Chrissie - I've written several novels - some based on my ancestors lives, some 'sagas' covering several generations, and some children's fantasy novels. All unpublished. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 22:18

Rob Houghton wrote:I try and write them pretty fast if I can, as Enid wrote hers fast - but I can't quite complete one in only five days as she often did!!! :lol:


Rob, I assume that you are full-time working on top of it as well?
EB was basically a stay at home mom and author who always had help with cooking & cleaning (even in WW II if I remember it right) which enabled her to dedicate most of her time to writing.
But even under such privileged circumstances 5 days for an entire sequel of the FF, RR or FFO & Dog is amazing!!!
I wonder how long it took her to write an entire Adventure series sequel? :?:
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 22:19

Rob Houghton wrote:I feel a bit bad filling up this thread talking about my writing - maybe we should have a separate thread! :oops:

When I write an Enid Blyton story, I actually do very little planning. I don't work to a plan. I find that if I have too detailed a plan it 'kills' the story. I start with an initial idea (for example with 'Narrowboat' I decided on a Famous Five set on a narrowboat which was secretly being used by baddies, and an idea that one of the Five would be accidentally towed away on it). That was all. the rest comes as I write - usually as I'm going to sleep - so I keep a notepad by the bed to scribble ideas on. This is the single most important piece of advice I ever read - in a 'how to write novels' book I once had. Even dreams can sometimes provide inspiration.

I've never been an 'ideas man' - the ideas just appear. If I have to think of things, then usually it takes ages.

The book I'm writing at the moment, I had a few rough ideas - which I won't disclose here as I'm still writing - and the rest come as I write. I know the rough ending - but where it goes between chapter 16 and the end I'm not entirely sure until I write it!! :lol:

Chrissie - I've written several novels - some based on my ancestors lives, some 'sagas' covering several generations, and some children's fantasy novels. All unpublished. :-)


You shouldn't feel bad at all!
I find it thoroughly fascinating to read about how you and Julie write. 8)
More of it, please!!!
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 22:21

Chrissie777 wrote:
Rob Houghton wrote:I try and write them pretty fast if I can, as Enid wrote hers fast - but I can't quite complete one in only five days as she often did!!! :lol:


Rob, I assume that you are full-time working on top of it as well?
EB was basically a stay at home mom and author who always had help with cooking & cleaning (even in WW II if I remember it right) which enabled her to dedicate most of her time to writing.
But even under such privileged circumstances 5 days for an entire sequel of the FF, RR or FFO & Dog is amazing!!!
I wonder how long it took her to write an entire Adventure series sequel? :?:


I'm quite lucky in that I don't work full time at the moment. I live with my dad, who I 'care' for - cooking cleaning etc, and work part-time as a TV 'extra' - background actor for the BBC mainly. Also sell books on eBay for a bit of pocket money.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 22:24

Chrissie777 wrote:You shouldn't feel bad at all!
I find it thoroughly fascinating to read about how you and Julie write. 8)
More of it, please!!!


I wouldn't feel so bad if Julie told us a few details of how she writes, as well. I would be very interested to hear how another writer approaches things. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Machupicchu14 » 20 Feb 2017, 22:40

Like Chrissie I find it fascinating to read about you and Julie's writings. Because I throughly enjoy writing, and because you write amazingly well, is so nice to read what great writers have to say!! I just love it! :D
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love"
Lev Tolstoy


You can call me Machupicchu14 or María Esther

Society Member
User avatar
Machupicchu14
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: 06 Feb 2016, 15:57
Location: Co. Kerry. Ireland
Favourite book/series: The Famous Five
Favourite character: Timmy and George Kirrin

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Feb 2017, 22:50

Thank you, Maria esther! :D

I think the main key is - if you enjoy writing something, it shows when people read it! :-D
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



Society Member
User avatar
Rob Houghton
 
Posts: 11879
Joined: 26 Feb 2005, 22:38
Location: Kings Norton, Birmingham
Favourite book/series: Rubadub Mystery and The Find-Outers
Favourite character: Fatty

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 22:51

Rob Houghton wrote: When I write an Enid Blyton story, I actually do very little planning. I don't work to a plan. I find that if I have too detailed a plan it 'kills' the story. I start with an initial idea (for example with 'Narrowboat' I decided on a Famous Five set on a narrowboat which was secretly being used by baddies, and an idea that one of the Five would be accidentally towed away on it). That was all. the rest comes as I write - usually as I'm going to sleep - so I keep a notepad by the bed to scribble ideas on. This is the single most important piece of advice I ever read - in a 'how to write novels' book I once had. Even dreams can sometimes provide inspiration.
I've never been an 'ideas man' - the ideas just appear. If I have to think of things, then usually it takes ages.


Stephen King once wrote in his book "On Writing" that you are only a writer/author if you have more stories to tell than you can possibly write down (or something similar, I don't know the exact wording).

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-10th-Ann ... on+writing

Well, I had only this one inspiration to write in the summer of 1996 (partly autobiographical/partly mystery) when I was stuck in a traffic jam in my car in downtown Hamburg, Germany. Ever since I was waiting in vain for another inspiration for a second novel:).

My experience when I wrote my novel was that the characters developed a life of their own. All I had to do on the next morning was reread the last chapter to correct all typos, missing hyphens/commas etc and then basically write down what the characters planned to do next. I know it sounds odd, but that's how it was. I had planned a good outcome as an ending, but many detours to get to it :).

Some 10 years later I read another book by an author on writing (it's also her autobiography, but also contains many tips for amateur writers besides that it's a great read):

https://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Privileg ... obiography
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 22:57

Rob Houghton wrote:I feel a bit bad filling up this thread talking about my writing - maybe we should have a separate thread! :oops:


If there will be a separate thread, please let me know.

The thread has now been split.

I sent my novel to 2 publishing houses, but they told me it was not "dense" enough. Oh well...
Didn't persue it anylonger after the rejections.
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Re: New Weekly Serial

Postby Chrissie777 » 20 Feb 2017, 23:01

Rob Houghton wrote:I'm quite lucky in that I don't work full time at the moment. I live with my dad, who I 'care' for - cooking cleaning etc, and work part-time as a TV 'extra' - background actor for the BBC mainly. Also sell books on eBay for a bit of pocket money.


Yes, you've mentioned your dad before. I forgot. :oops:

Working as an extra sounds very interesting!
Are there any BBC movies with you as an extra which available on DVD?
I'm asking because I'll order a few items at amazon.co.uk this coming weekend.
Chrissie

Society Member

"For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake."
Alfred Hitchcock
User avatar
Chrissie777
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: 17 Mar 2012, 16:54
Location: Worcester, MA, USA
Favourite book/series: Famous Five, Adventure Series, Valley of Adventure
Favourite character: George Kirrin, Jack Trent

Next

Return to General Natter

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests