Happy Birthday, Samantha Shannon, born 8 November 1991
- Some writers start from the beginning of the story, some from the end, some from a random point in the middle. What matters is that they start somewhere.
- I tend to write slowly but solidly until quite late at night. I aim to sleep at around 11pm but often the writing urge will kick in when it turns dark, and I’ll end up writing past 1 a.m. I usually write for at least seven or eight hours a day, if not more.
- I use what I call the “flesh-and-bones” planning structure, where I have the skeletal outline of the plot and all the important “joints” and twists (including the ending of the series), but I leave room for manoeuvre and for the characters to flesh the story out themselves.
- I think your best bet for starting a book – especially when you’re building an imaginary world – is often just to get a rough idea of the setting, drop a character into it, and start writing. Choose any point in the story and write something, anything.
- Don’t worry if you don’t know every tiny corner of the world or every last twist in the plot; you can always go back and edit your work. It’s like working up the courage to jump into a freezing cold pool: once you’re in the water, you’ll start swimming.
- Nothing’s worse than a story without an end.
- Words are everything. Words give wings even to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair.
- Writing a novel is like knocking on a door that will never open. You are so desperate to get in, you will say or do anything. You feel: please take my novel,
- I’m often daydreaming, and it’s because I’ve always liked the idea of there being something more than the normal world.
Samantha Shannon is a British writer of dystopian and paranormal fiction. In 2013, she published The Bone Season, the internationally bestselling first instalment in a seven-book series of fantasy novels. Its sequels, The Mime Order and The Song Rising have also been released. Follow here on Facebook: Samantha Shannon
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