Answer: a very lot.
I don't know if anyone who writes books really knows where the ideas come from. Suddenly one day something will pop into my head - a line of dialogue, a name, an image, and from there on it's one inevitable HobNob after another until everything slots together into a form that is more or less book-like. I don't really do 'drafts' either, I just sort of point myself at the page and keep going, if something doesn't work then I go back to the place at which it stopped working and do something else or rework it until it damn well does as it's told. This means that sometimes I have to go right back to the beginning of the book and change something (the interconnectedness of all things in books means that one small thread that started to go awry in chapter three is wiggling catastrophically around and flailing characters to death by chapter ten, and must be stopped). I know other writers just put a note in the margin at this point, write on, and then go back and change things when they've finished, but this is as alien behaviour to me as ironing tea towels or hoovering behind the fridge. I have to go and put it right before I get to the end.
|You know things are going wrong when you have to eat ten HobNobs before you can move on|
|But then, sometimes it really *was* the old janitor in a rubber mask...|