The word count is down still further today, and I’m now close to finishing the edit. It has become much easier as it has gone along, and Part Three – which I’m on now – barely needs any changes at all so far (though I want to slot in something new, right at the end). When I first wrote that section of the book, it was over the course of three intense days. I knew exactly what I had to do, for once. I outlined exactly what I wanted to happen in each chapter to make the pace just right, and for it to flow well.

I don’t usually work that way. I liken my standard method of writing to a map where the major towns are filled in but the roads that link them are not. I like to have certain “markers” in the story so that I know where I’m going to, but leave the way between them free for anything to happen. Part Three of Certainty was different, though. With the story for the final part completely locked down, it allowed me to write it very quickly indeed, and it turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt. Maybe I should use that approach more often, then, although I’d be worried that a more regimented approach would remove some of the interesting side-tracks I tend to go down. A couple of those proved to be important for the novel as a whole, so I wouldn’t want to make it all too prescribed in future.

I’ve been editing so much that I haven’t switched on a videogames console in anger all weekend (must be the first time ever), and my wife is getting increasingly worried that I’m ignoring her. I’m not. Time just runs away when I’m writing on a laptop, listening to my iPod. I’m surprised that I haven’t worn out John Powell’s soundtracks for the Bourne films. They’re perfect writing music for this genre, really helping to establish the mood.

Fave bits of the novel? When I’ve finished the edit, I might tell you. Spoiler-free, natch. For now, ten hours of editing has completely knackered me out. Bedtime, methinks.

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