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2,000 words a day.

2,000 words a day, then revise them the next day.  That for 5 days a week.   That’s how at least one professional writer works.

Last week I found myself in conversation with Melanie Dobson, author of 16 (repeat, 16) published novels and novellas.  They are historical romance, suspense and contemporary stories.  Her website gives details (www.melaniedobson.com).  The 2,000 words a day is her writing discipline: she also builds into her year a set time for research trips, and produces one or two novels a year.

Melanie lives in Oregon and was on a research tour in Britain when we spoke.  She had done Churchill’s home at Chartwell in the morning and was at the National Trust’s Scotney Castle in Kent in the afternoon when she met our party.  From Kent she was to go all the way to the Lake District the following day.  I must look out for the next novel to see the results of the research …

A previous research trip to England – where she explored “ancient passageways in Oxford, quaint villages in the Cotswolds, the peaceful estuary near Bristol, and the busy streets of London” – preceded Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor.  (You can see photos from that trip on the website – and I can say that I’ve drunk in the pub that features there.)   Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is a romantic historical mystery that “brings light to the secrets and heartaches that have divided two families for generations”.

There’s a page on the website headed ‘Write What You Don’t Know’ (http://melaniedobson.com/research/writing-resources/write-what-you-dont-know/) which gives her hints on how to ignore the usual advice to write what about you do know, by finding out about what you don’t.

Melanie’s website also gives details of places where information can be found on autism, adoption, panic attacks, cultic abuse and gambling addiction – subjects she knows about through her own experience or through her research for her books.