How Diane Setterfield writes #writerslife #amwriting

Diane Setterfield “I think of the scenes as beads. There are lots of beads, and you can line them up next to each other and it looks just like a necklace. But until you’ve got that invisible thread you can’t pick it up and wear it, because if you pick it up [the beads] will just scatter and go everywhere. You’ve got to have that thread, even though no one can see it.”
[an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ Magazine’ September 14, 2018] 

Diane Setterfield


I love this analogy, though what she doesn’t mention is the process of swapping the beads around. Eliminating some, adding others not originally planned. The necklace idea works for linear stories as well as time slip, as long as the invisible thread is strong.

Setterfield’s first novel, gothic mystery The Thirteenth Tale, was published in 2011 and made into a BBC film starring Olivia Coleman and Vanessa Redgrave. It sold 239,368 copies [Nielsen BookScan UK]. It was followed by in 2014 by Victoria ghost story Bellman & Black.Once Upon A River was published on January 24, 2019. Read more about Diane Setterfield’s novels here.

Diane SetterfieldBUY

See how these other authors write:-
George Saunders
Mary Gaitskill
Jeffrey Archer

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why #author @DianeSetterfie1 thinks of a necklace when #writing via @SandraDanby