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My Writing Process by Wenyan Lu

I write novels. Occasionally I write short stories and poems when I have some ideas which aren’t big enough to base a novel on. They might grow over time, but I would see them as writing exercises.

I write whenever I can. I keep a notebook in my bag, scribbling down my observations, a little thought, or a brief story I have heard. I have a busy work schedule and two teenage children, so I can only write properly in the evening. Well, not properly enough – sometimes I might be able to write for half an hour before dinner. When I can’t write, I will try to plot in my mind and write it down as soon as it is possible. On a lucky day, I feel I have a lot to write, so I’ll sit down and start writing as soon as I arrive home, which might be two hours. Thankfully, my husband would cook (or we might just order a takeaway).

My favourite place for writing is the sofa at home. I recline on the sofa with a cup of tea in front of me and my laptop sits on my lap. I also sometimes write in bed at night, especially if I haven’t written anything during the day. My background music is Leonard Cohen during the day and something like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in the evening.

Before I start writing my novel, I do as much research as possible. After that, I have a rough idea on what thoughts and opinions I would like to convey through my novel. I decide the protagonists and supporting characters before I start, and I write short biographies for them. I usually picture the beginning, climax and the ending, but I don’t have detailed plans. During the process of writing, the plot changes, sometimes drastically. I follow a natural urge to change the story as I go along. I would say I am somewhere between a planner and a pantser.


Read more of Wenyan’s work here:  Read an excerpt of The Funeral Cryer.