Although I'm only about 20,000 words away from the end of Number Three, I haven't added a single page to the manuscript during September. This has been a deliberate and liberating decision. Instead, apart from editing the first few sections of the novel - demolishing redundant words and sentences, building pace, strengthening impact - I've spent most of the month thinking about writing.
While this may sound wanky, it's an essential part of the writing process for me. It's what I do before I start writing, but I also like to punctuate the process of writing - when everything's going reasonably well - with taking time out from committing words to the page and simply thinking about writing instead. Not only does abstinence make me hungry to write again, to get back to the characters and their stories, but in distancing myself from them for a short while, I find I can think about them afresh. If I do a little editing at the same time, visit a gallery or two, get hooked into some new music, read a good book, watch a few films, then new ideas start fermenting, and though I might not be adding dialogue, narrative or description to the novel, I end up scribbling lots of notes and with a stronger sense of what I'm writing - and how. New layers reveal themselves, extra dimensions to the characters become apparent, I see opportunities I'd missed before.
That's where I'm up to.