Abigail Reynolds | THERE'S NOTHING ROUTINE ABOUT WRITING
January 11, 2010
My writing routine? What writing routine? If you want to know about my writing
process, Iíll need to tell you a little about my life first. I work two days a
week as a doctor. I have two kids at home, my 15 year old son with an autism
spectrum disorder and a black belt in karate and my 18 year old daughter who
always, umm, keeps my life interesting. Yes, interesting is a good word. Most
18 year old girls like to spend time at the mall and talk about boys. Not mine.
Mine is an extremely dedicated Shakespearean actress. Iím not joking - sheís
been in over 50 productions, mostly Shakespeare. Iíd worry about her obsession
with Shakespeare if I wasnít just as obsessed with Jane Austen. I spend a
lot of time dealing with my sonís school and coaching him with his homework,
plus the usual mom taxi service. We have six cats and two dogs who are sweet
but have no manners. My darling husband saves my life by making dinner every
day and doing all the laundry (and no, you canít have him!). Getting the
I donít have a writing routine. I write whenever I can squeeze it in. I write
during my sonís karate classes, including the one when he broke his arm in three
places. He didnít tell anyone his arm hurt because he knows I donít like to be
interrupted when Iím writing. I have a notebook in the car in case one of the
kids is running late when I go to pick them up. I have bits of dialogue written
on the back of the agendas for my meetings at work. I write late at night when
everybody has gone to sleep.
My most productive writing time is when I run away from home and spend a couple
of hours in deep communion with my laptop at a coffee shop. When I have other
writers writing along side me, thatís even better because Iím less tempted to
cheat and do something else. This year I participated in NaNoWriMo, and I found
the write-ins helpful in keeping me on task. So Iíd have to say that my ideal
writing day would be a writing retreat, preferably on Cape Cod in a loft
overlooking the ocean. Hey, this is my ideal day - I didnít say anything
about it being realistic! A slice of chocolate mousse cake from my favorite
bakery would probably put my muse in a better mood.
The worst writing times for me are when my muse seems to have decided to go on a
cruise around the world without me. I feel like I need to write, but everything
that comes out is completely pedestrian and boring, and I wonder why anybody
thinks my stories worth reading. Iíve learned a few tricks for getting out of
it, but it can still go on for months.
My favorite writing times are when the characters take over and start dictating
scenes to me. Thereís a fair amount of routine work putting scenes together and
writing transitions, but the moments that keep me going are when I find Mr.
Darcy hovering over my shoulder saying, "Be not alarmed, Ms. Reynolds, that a
fictional character is speaking to you, but I find it highly unlikely that I
would ever follow the course of action you are suggesting in your tale. Please
correct it at your earliest convenience." Or when a completely new original
character comes sauntering in the door and demands his share of the
Speaking of which, Elizabeth is waiting impatiently to tell me what happened
after she burned that letter...
MR. FITZWILLIAM DARCY: THE
LAST MAN IN THE WORLD IN STORES JANUARY 2010!
In this sexy Jane
Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal,
answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered
" I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the
world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
Famous last words indeed! Elizabeth Bennet's furious response to Mr. Darcy's
marriage proposal has resonated for generations of readers. But what if she had
never said it? Would she have learned to recognize Mr. Darcy's admirable
qualities on her own? Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they
struggle to find their way through the maze of their prejudices after Elizabeth,
against her better judgment, agrees to marry Darcy instead of refusing his
Two of the most beloved characters in English literature explore the meaning of
true love in a tumultuous and passionate attempt to make a success of their
About the Author
Abigail Reynolds is a
physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast.
She began writing The Pemberley Variations series in 2001, and
encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her
to continue asking "What if...?" She lives with her husband and two teenage
children in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit http://pemberleyvariations.com/
32 comments posted.
Re: Abigail Reynolds | THERE'S NOTHING ROUTINE ABOUT WRITING
Wow, what a busy life! So glad that you find the time to write such awesome material.
(Joanne Reynolds 6:29am January 11, 2010)
I envy anyone who can write a book. I'm glad you are able to get away and write and enjoy it as well. I can barely write a letter to friends ok lets say a long email LOL
(Shirley Kulesza 7:28am January 11, 2010)
Book sounds like a great read.
(Sherry Russell 9:57am January 11, 2010)
wow woman you have your plate full. Keep up the good work but you should probably tell your kids it's ok to interupt if something is broken lol
(Jennifer Mathis 10:36am January 11, 2010)
Having worked in a school for boys with ASD and then counselling teenage girls, I don't envy you lol. I like the idea of chocolate mousse cake to inspire you tho - I'll share if you're offering.
(Sarah Keery 11:25am January 11, 2010)
Chocolate Mousse Cake makes everything easier!! I'm still amazed by how busy you are yet how much you can accomplish! I tweeted your contest, so hopefully you get lots of traffic!
(Laura Lanemann 11:41am January 11, 2010)
It seems all authors are so busy, I don't know how they manage! Your book sound awesome!
(Gail Hurt 11:42am January 11, 2010)
What a wonderful column! Thanks for sharing.
(G S Moch 12:26pm January 11, 2010)
I wish I could write. I've always dreamed of it, but I'll leave it to those who can! ;)
(Kelli Jo Calvert 12:36pm January 11, 2010)
Oh, I'm looking forward to this sequel of Austen's beloved couple.
(Armenia Fox 12:57pm January 11, 2010)
Wow - that sounds exhausting. Sounds like you don't waste a minute of your life.
(Vikki Parman 12:59pm January 11, 2010)
I'd have to give this a try. I made the mistake of reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and it made Austen books a turn off for me. I would like to get turned back on though.
(Freda Mans-Labianca 1:05pm January 11, 2010)
Busy Bee... so much going on, I would be exhausted...
(Colleen Conklin 1:08pm January 11, 2010)
Can't wait to get my hands on it!
(Lisa Richards 1:32pm January 11, 2010)
OK! WHEW! I am exhausted just reading about your routine! Now I really have no excuse for not writing LOL!!! Hope your staying toasty warm! we are neighbors, well sort of I am in Minnesota! Eeeks please don't throw anything at me, I am not A Brett Farve fan! LOL!
(Jane Lange 2:20pm January 11, 2010)
With a schedule like that,makes this reader appreciate the book eve more.
(Leni Kaye 2:44pm January 11, 2010)
Being a parent myself, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can somehow make time to write as well. Thank you for your post. Your book sounds like one I would enjoy reading.
(Cherie Japp 3:42pm January 11, 2010)
As crazy-busy as your life sounds, it also sounds like it somehow suits you. It certainly gave you the creative spark to write.
(Michelle St. James 5:35pm January 11, 2010)
Thank you for the fabulous insight. I am a massive Jane Austen fan as well.
(Mary Preston 6:47pm January 11, 2010)
I'm amazed that you can find time to write with all the other things going on in your life!! Good Luck.
(Penny Tuttle 8:17pm January 11, 2010)
I so loved the Mr. Darcy character.
(Kai Wong 8:37pm January 11, 2010)
I love P&P and have read a few continuations of their story. Can't wait to read yours too.
(Mitzi Hinkey 11:09pm January 11, 2010)
Thank you for letting your readers into your day. Wishing you all the best in the months ahead. May 2010 be a good year for all of us.
(Ruby Davis 11:15pm January 11, 2010)
I like what I read here. Also I like the fact you are a doctor. I give my Arthritis Specialist and my PCP doctor and staff books to read since learning we all enjoy same type of books.
I also love Jane Austen books.
(Jane Squires 11:57pm January 11, 2010)
Thanks for taking out of your busy life to
spend it here with us!
(Sue Ahn 2:14am January 12, 2010)
I'm just wondering what her "muse" is! I always like a chance to read an author I haven't before! Thanks!
(Ula Longtin 7:31am January 12, 2010)
WoW! You are like a human whirlwind...you are my new hero! lol
(Dawn Raymer 11:07am January 12, 2010)
P&P is one of those books you can read over and over again. I'd love to be able to read the story from a new angle.
(Angela Hoagland 11:59am January 12, 2010)
Darcy....is my favorite man/character and love reading anything about him. keep writing. I hope your muse does not go on a Holiday agin without you. Best Wishes for the year.
(Barbara Ryan 1:21pm January 12, 2010)
I love Austen, Darcy and lots more!!!
Wow, I can tell you really take your writing seriously the way you fit it in all through your schedule.
(Valerie Bongards 4:38pm January 12, 2010)
This book sounds fasinating. I like Jane also and I believe this book would be a great read. Sorry I did not get this in sooner but continue your great writing.
(Brenda Hill 9:49pm January 12, 2010)
What a great post, Abigail!! Congrats on the release of another wonderful novel :). Can't wait to read it!
(Marilyn Brant 2:23pm January 13, 2010)
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