‘Unpredictability is a crucial part of real creativity.’ This is a quote from Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Philippa Pearce Memorial lecture, which does reflect how I feel about writing. If I knew exactly how any of my stories would develop, I wouldn’t write. If I weren’t willing to be surprised and change the course of my stories, I wouldn’t find writing remotely interesting.

The most exciting part of the writing process – and paradoxically enough, the hardest one to describe accurately – is the moment when I simultaneously experience a form of heightened awareness and of extreme letting go. Words come out of my finger tips or pen, fully formed, powerful and will not be ignored. Five seconds before, I had no idea they would come. Five seconds later, I marvel at their presence. Unpredictability indeed…

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