Right, it’s 20th November and here’s where we stand:

1) Had an idea for a rural fantasy/mystery novel last year.

2) Spent the year thinking.

3) Cast the film in my head, and imagined the awards’ ceremonies.

4) Started writing – one scene, a cast of characters and an emotional flow chart.

5) Renamed a whole raft of characters so as to avoid distressing friends of mine who happen to have the same names.

6) Wrote first draft/skeleton of something – beginning the story in the late Autumn and flashing back to the Spring.

7) Rewrote chapters one and two. Felt quite proud of myself.

8) Stalled at chapter three.

9) Realised that stories that start at the end and the float, dream-like, back to an earlier time can be very annoying, plus – no-one knows me as a writer, so they don’t know to trust me with this device, and flashback-flashforward takes some following, and – oh, man – I should have started the story at the beginning. At this point I may have written chapters eighteen and nineteen.

10) Now I am sitting on a coffee table and in a quandary. Do I keep going from where I was and write the middle and ending, and then go back? Or do I start again?

11) Stage eleven may involve alcohol.