A Writer's Process: Tiggy Hayes

I sneak downstairs usually in the dark like a naughty nosy child, warm up my conservatory and sit at the table.  

I have no lights on (except from the computer screen) and the windows look south (with east – west views) over a field and common land full of trees.  

The only company I allow, and is around at this precious time of the day is the dawn chorus from the multitude of birds that I always hear but never see.   The sun rises all round me and usually begins with a cacophony of sound from the birds, followed by streaking lights as the sun hits the horizon until I have a clear beautiful morning.  Today it is frosty and shining.


My current project is draft 6 or 7 of my book Memories, I hope to have published but have spent years editing. I wrote this as a skeleton for my first NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2010 but struggle with the editing of it.  I have had some fabulous feedback from beta readers and an agent who insisted I send it out rather than self-publish, she unfortunately took the wrong genre and it was not ready at the time.  I am nearer that stage now and would like to send to an agent this year.  

I am also looking back at my recent 2015 NANOWRIMO story line (Destination; a historical novel).    My husband cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats last autumn and I went as support for him in the car.  I used my time to create a historical journey visiting places my character might pass through.  Normally I would not look at this one for some years, 2 others waiting in the drawer, but I am working on an historical fiction course and this is providing the subject matter.    I have many other projects on the go; short stories mainly with an ever hopeful plan to sell them to womags, but the market for this is reducing and the pools of extraordinarily good writers increasing; I will have to keep writing.

Once I am on a roll, I find the writing really easy - I can write a skeleton in just over a month but I do live, breath and sleep the characters.

I am an avid fan of NANOWRIMO and find this an incredible way to allow a story to develop in its own manner.   I write short stories easily as well usually in a few days.  I do a little bit of planning and this then allows the words to tumble out.  Getting them down on the computer screen or paper quick enough is usually my problem.  I don’t know where the words come from and I often find I have a different ending or a new twist that was not in my planning at all.  The rough draft is usually good content but needs a lot of work to bring it up to readable material.

Editing! Editing!  I can go back and re-read something and tweak the grammar etc… but find it difficult to re-write bits. 

 I hate having to cut out the crafted words even when they don’t go….sometimes less really is more but I struggle.   I re-read and re-read but really find it difficult to read the words on the page as opposed to the words in my head (that should be on the page).  Time away from the project does help on this one.

I am a fan of Swanwick Writer’s School which I hope to return to again this summer.  I come away from the week feeling so inspired and really at one with the world, having people around me who thrive on words as well and do not regard me as weird!   I belong there and meet so many fantastically creative people who encourage, challenge but never make me feel inferior.

My biggest obstacle is I lack confidence in my own ability to write but I do enjoy the past time and love being immersed with a project. 

I write under the name of Tiggy Hayes and post to my blog; Dawn Chorus, not as often as I should.