I was up again at 5.30 this morning, to work on “The Dolphin House.” To understand the strangeness of this, you need to know I was a night owl for most of my life.
The manuscript is up to 85,000 words, probably its limit. Now that the horrible (for me) slog through the first draft is done, the plot and characters just about jelled, the fun part comes with the rewriting: Polishing the prose, trimming the excesses, returning to the research for gems I may have missed.
My working method is to do just enough research on a topic (here, history) to get started. Too much research is a trap, and the book never gets written. When I’m writing and know what I need to know at some point, I dip back into the sources. But in the re-write I get the pleasure of browsing through all the sources again, finding things I may have missed, and picking out the neat tidbits that I could use in the story. I’ve never understood people who claim they hate to re-write!
This may be more than you care to know about my writing method!