By September 25, 2013 Read More →

Peering thro the keyhole – crime fiction writer

Did you spot the crime fiction writer from previous photos?

Crime fiction writer - Through the Home Office Keyhole, Alan WilliamsOur latest Through the Home Office Keyhole video was a challenge, not many clues as to who might work at the desk with the black dog for company! Appropriately enough, the man of mystery is a crime fiction writer!

I’m Alan Williams, and one of my jobs is writing; in particular I’m a crime fiction writer, but I also write about natural history and dogs. For regular visitors here, you may have seen my workspace before in one of my guest posts, Working at home with pets.

My workflow is pretty much all digitally based. I only really use paper as part of final editing phases of long form work, so I spend a lot of time in front of a laptop screen or with my iPad.

I use the laptop to do the bulk of my work. When I’m writing fresh or in early revisions, I work in a program called Scrivener; later editing will happen in Word. The iPad alongside is for looking things up online and doing any quick bits of research that I need, rather than switching between programs on the laptop. I also use the iPad to work on mind-maps and other bits to help with forming ideas for whatever piece I happen to be working on.

When I’m having a writing day I try to aim for between 4000 & 5000 words, normally in two stints, morning and afternoon, with breaks for coffee and comfort stops. But I start each day with a reread of the preceding day’s efforts, mainly to get my head in the game and focussed on what comes next.

For longer breaks, or when I get stuck and need to think something through, I take a dog walking break. My dog Wilson is in the video, and he’s pretty much a constant companion when I’m writing, either sitting in the foot-well of my desk, or seeking out the sunniest spot.

My second dog Sparky, is also normally nearby, although as the more senior of the pair he likes to provide moral support from the comfort of the sofa. You’ll note from the video that there are also plenty of dog toys around, which I’m afraid to say is an inevitable part of working at home with a dog.

Enjoyed this? Here are more of Alan’s guest posts on home working and travelling for work, or you can sample all his writing genres on his blog

Posted in: Home offices

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