Up at 08:00 and straight into ‘dreich noir’. there’s no pressing need to, but I want to keep slamming out a good eighteen hundred words each morning so that come wednesday, I’ll slide gracefully from Edinburgh avant-fucking into feudal sci-fi relationship-sadism. or something.

When I embark on a new novel, it always takes me a day or two to get up to speed. up until now, I’ve always gone from a standing start.

Eighteen hundred words (give or take) is the amount that comes easily to me when I sit down and start writing. of late, I can manage two of these in a day, maybe three.

Next, I went over to the library to print out the twenty-page outline of ‘dystopian’ ready for next month’s frenzied orgy of words, sentences and paragraphs.

I started reading Charles Siefe’s book on the history of zero. having finished ‘the girl who played with fire’, I was looking for something to get my teeth into.

That said, I’m still gnawing my way through ‘fifty shades of gray’, one chapter at a time.

I’ve just managed to complete the chapter that’s just the slave contract.

Are all the otherwise sensible and alert women enjoying this crap aware that a slave contract isn’t legally enforceable – anywhere on earth?

And appendix two, the hard limits? I’ve not only done them all – apart from the ‘show-business’ ones, but I thrived on each and every one.

I’m best described as a method writer – and I do all my own stunts.