How Sadie Jones writes @ThatSadieJones #amwriting #writetip

Sadie Jones “I know I’m writing badly if I’m making it up on the page…. It’s going well if it’s a thing I am reporting. So I’ll imagine [the scene] and let it play; try to hear it and see it, and then I’ll be describing that. If I’m thinking, ‘Oh, that’s quite a nice sentence’, then I know it won’t do.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine on January 11, 2019] 

Sadie Jones


Until The Snakes, Sadie Jones wrote historical novels. The Snakes is a contemporary novel, a kind of anti-thriller in that it is a thriller without all the answers. She says she wanted to write a book about there being no answers and used the ‘fuel’ of the thriller to do that. An experienced screenwriter, this affects how she visualises her scenes.

Two things in her quote above struck a chord with me. One, she doesn’t make it up on the page. She plans first. Second, it is fatal to stop and admire your own prose.

Jones’ first novel, The Outcast, won the Costa First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and adapted for the BBC. Three more novels followed; Small Wars, The Uninvited Guests and Fallout.

Sadie Jones


See how these other authors write:-
Jill Alexander Essbaum, on listening to the sound of the words
Hanya Yanagihara, on trusting the reader
JoJo Moyes, on using the detail of real life

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why @ThatSadieJones doesn’t stop to admire her own sentences #amwriting via @SandraDanby