Creating the Maze…… – by Alis Hawkins

An interesting post by Alis Hawkins for Crime Cymru, on writing methods and the horrors of wet saddles.

Crime Cymru

Under our themed topic of “How I Write”, this week Crime Cymru’s Alis Hawkins takes a look at a writing method used by a recent award winner and compares it with her own methodology.

Creating the maze…

This year’s winner of both the Gold Dagger and the Historical Dagger at the Crime Writers’ Association awards was the fourth in Ray Celestin’s City Blues quartet, Sunset Swing. Ahead of the awards I’d not read any of the other shortlisted writers (my own most recent novel Not One Of Us was on the shortlist) but when Ray Celestin rather swept the board, I decided that I’d better check his work out.

I discovered that each book in the quartet is written using Oulipo (ouvroir de litterature potentielle) constraints. The theory is that imposing constraints on our writing triggers ideas and inspiration, though a rather more cynical view from one commentator described the…

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