Today I am honored to have as my guest, Seb Kirby, author of the bestselling thrillers, TAKE NO MORE and DOUBLE BIND. Seb has graciously agreed to share his thoughts on writing:


Blog post 'HOW I WRITE'

Blog post ‘HOW I WRITE’

Well, first I think that’s a very personal thing and that every author will have their own take on this. There’s no right or wrong way. As W. Somerset Maugham said: ‘There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no-one knows what they are.’

Basically, I prefer the Stephen King approach as set out in his ‘On Writing’. You know, the book he wrote after he was hit by a truck when he was out walking to clear his mind after a writing session. The truck that nearly killed him. You get the idea that he felt he had to put it all in that book, just in case.

I take his approach to be something along the lines of: If you’re not surprising yourself when you’re writing your book, how can you hope to surprise your readers when they’re reading it? So, I try to be excited at what’s coming out as I write and let the novel plan itself. With this approach, you don’t start with a detailed, worked-out plot or anything more than a part-glimpsed plan, you really do let the characters tell you what should happen next.

Generally, I don’t believe in heroes. I wouldn’t want to trust one. I get more from ordinary, flawed, people in situations that take them out of their normal lives. Then things get interesting as you see how they struggle with what seems for them the impossible. And I want to resolve things in the end in their favour.  My way, if you like, of righting some of the wrongs, albeit in a small way.

There are two of Stephen King’s aphorisms that I take seriously. The first: ‘The road to hell is paved with adverbs.’ So, where at all possible I don’t use them. The second: ‘Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.’ I never use a dictionary or a thesaurus.

Finally, I’d emphasise the importance of the ‘polishing’ stage in the writing process. Once the words have formed themselves out of the characters’ wishes, once the story has been told, the real work begins. Writing and rewriting, working and reworking the text to give it as much shine and polish as you can muster. And there’s then always the hope in discovering another of the goals suggested by Stephen King – that seldom achieved ‘gem’ where you contribute a striking and novel turn of language that lights up the whole show.

seb-kirbySeb Kirby’s debut novel, Take No More, has been widely acclaimed as a first-rate mystery thriller. Drawing from his love of classic books from H G Wells to Charles Dickens, he has mastered the art of storytelling. His second novel, Double Bind, is a psychological sci-fi thriller filled with twists and turns, a hallmark of Mr Kirby’s gripping imagination.




For more info on his bestselling books, just follow the links:


Take No More


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Double Bind


Amazon US

Amazon UK 


Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized
13 comments on “NEW TIME, NEW WORDS
  1. Elise Stokes says:

    This is excellent, Seb. *Great* tips. I think I need to read “On Writing.”

  2. Seb Kirby – thank you for stopping by, and sharing your thoughts on writing. Great post.

  3. danagriffin says:

    Good post. I share many of the same thoughts regarding writing as you and Master King do, Seb. Take No More was a great book. I look forward to reading, Double Blind.

  4. MsCheevious says:

    I knew about Stephen King’s accident, but didn’t know he wrote such a book. I must investigate! Great post!

  5. LisaJeyDavis says:

    What a fabulous post! Thank you Seb. I love the quote about surprising yourself in your writing… That is a really GREAT tip!

  6. Great post. I believe the tip about the road to hell and adverbs. When I catch myself overusing them, I just cringe at the editing stage. I think it’s far more effective to use a precise verb.

  7. ckraggio says:

    Awesome post, Seb. Totally agree with your tips. Stephen King’s On Writing is by far the best book on writing I’ve read. Everyone should definitely check it out even if you’re not a huge King fan. It’s so worth it!

  8. I found a passage in a book that blew me away. I asked the author about it and there answer was I was totally surprised after I wrote it. It must have been divine inspriation. Very nice interview. I am looking forward to reading your books.

  9. Dawn Torrens says:

    Fantastic Seb, Having read one of your fabulous books already I look forward to reading the next one which is on my TBR list…

  10. I tend to be what George RR Martin calls a “gardener” too, as opposed to an “architect”. As you say, use a method that works best for you. Wonderful post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog Archive

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: