- Non-fiction takes longer to write than fiction which comes from one's imagination without the need for much research.
- Preparation seems to be the key to non-fiction. Unlike fiction where my characters and scenes have a life of their own and develop in real time as I write them.
- I found it easier to prepare a structure with the titles of each chapter and the headings for each topic. I agreed these with the publisher before I put pen to paper.
- It was great to have a professionally designed format that the publisher insisted I stick to. It was relatively easy to write the contents and it made sure that I didn't waffle.
- I seem to work best in two-hour chunks. After that my brain hurt and I lost concentration and flow. I've discovered that I write best first thing in the morning after a walk and breakfast.
- You should write it all the way through before you read anything you've written. When I read previous chapters I got distracted and fiddled with them. In the end I just wrote it until I'd finished.
- It's easiest to skip over the bits that need more research or effort and back-fill when you reach the end. Otherwise you lose momentum.
- My brain is always miles ahead of my fingers on the keyboard. I wrote it all by hand in a notebook and then edited as I typed it in. I think that added extra time so I will go on a touch-typing course at the local college in the Autumn.
- When I write fiction I always read it out aloud. I did the same with this book after I'd back-filled it. That took four hours but it highlighted some poor grammar, typos and the odd bit of weak structure.
Peter Spalton, soon to be a published author.