I used to think that writing a story was like producing a golden egg in my mind and then laying it onto the page in as flawless and shiny a condition as possible. Editing was simply a way of scraping off the dirt, stuck feathers, ego and assorted grime until the story was as perfect on the page as it was in its initial conception.
But no. It’s not like that.
Writing a story is more of a themed, real-time conversation in which we, the story and me, construct the reality as we go. I don’t sit down at the laptop and give birth to a story, I pull up a chair and engage with the story; we throw things back and forward to see what works, and between us we work it out.
Those dictators in Luxembourg or Brussels or wherever they’re based have stopped eating cake for long enough to decree that every website puts in some sort of widget saying that their readers’ details won’t be used for nefarious purposes.