The Crime Readers' Association

The Daily Grind (Another Day at the Word-Face)

3rd October 2013

Writer: Zoë Sharp

Workspace:  This is my corner of the study. The trees outside the window are where the red squirrels do their best to distract me from work by stealing food from the bird feeders and mugging the pheasants.

Take a closer look: The weird green object to the right of my main monitor (near the police handcuffs) is a guidance fin from a Rapier missile. Don’t ask. Next to it are some of the spent rounds and shell cases I’ve collected over the years. Love my old ergonomic keyboard, even though most of the letters are missing from the keys.

How long do you write for each day? Depends how close to the deadline I am. I write in bursts, morning, afternoon and evening. How late I work depends on whether my forehead is pressing the space bar. I give up then as I’ve found I write gibberish when asleep.

How many words do you aim to get down? At least a 1000 words if I can, but the more the merrier. As long as I don’t stop at the end of a chapter or scene, otherwise it’s so much harder to pick up again in the morning.

Longhand or straight-to-screen? Mostly I make notes first, then work those up on screen into a more-or-less finished piece. Reed Farrell Coleman came up with the word Write-itor, meaning he writes and edits as he goes along. I do the same thing.

Do you have a time when you’re most productive? When I’m awake.

An internet connection – good or bad when you’re writing? I find it very useful to quickly confirm a fact or look up a phrase, but I can quite happily make pages of notes anywhere without a wifi connection in sight.

Latest titles by Zoë Sharp. Standalone mystery thriller, The Blood Whisperer. Novella in the Charlie Fox crime thriller series, Absence of Light, Short Story: Rules of Engagement.

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