Pauline Rowson on the emotions involved in writing a crime novel

Each stage of writing a novel for me brings with it a range of different emotions. These range from excitement and frustration, to relief, doubt and fear, plus a whole lot in between.

I'm currently working on the tenth in the DI Andy Horton series and the theme is developing nicely.Eager to begin writing I don't wait until I have a complete outline. I don't even wait until I have conducted all my research and I certainly have no idea at this stage who the killer is and why. All I know for DI Horton number ten is that it is set in the Solent area on the South Coast of England, Andy Horton is still living on his boat and riding his Harley Davidson and he is a step closer to finding out why his mother disappeared over thirty years ago. But another drama is unfolding and one which Horton can't ignore.

So excitement is the first emotion for me when beginning a new novel as I work up an outline and some character sketches. I conduct some research and more ideas begin to flow. I can't wait to get started and do so as soon as I possibly can often within a month of finishing the previous novel, sometimes within a couple of weeks..

Next comes frustration and an adrenalin rush. Many writers find writing the first draft frustrating and a bit of a pain. I have mixed emotions about it.  I thoroughly enjoy the buzz generated by the flow of the creative juices but often wish I could wave a magic wand and that first draft would be dumped directly from my brain without all the effort of having to key it into the computer. I, like many writers, try to write the first draft as quickly as possible, with minimal editing because that slows down the process. While writing the first draft I'll also be conducting more research.. 

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