It became a much bigger story and in fact the screenplay that I originally wrote in 2004 was very different. The characters were a bit extreme and there was no light and shade there. Hopefully I’ve grown as a writer since I wrote the screenplay. I’ve certainly really enjoyed creating that world and I particularly enjoyed moving between two different timelines. I’ve loved it actually. I’ve absolutely loved it!
With TV-writing, you write scenes and those scenes pretty much stay as they are when you come to filming them. Sometimes you might change things on the day because of the location or the actors’ availability issues. Whereas with novel-writing you have to read it over and over again and every time I read it I find something that needs to be changed or that I don’t quite like. But then it has to be more complete because the final book is the final book, there’s no going back once that’s been printed. It’s very exciting! There’s just such a sense of completion about it. And also, you’ve got the physical book and there it is and that’s that – that’s your finished work.
I’ve also really enjoyed being able to go inside the heads of my characters – I don’t have that luxury when I’m writing scripts for TV. It’s just wonderful to be able to write about what my characters are thinking.
And on a very practical level you can write something and it might not be grammatically correct or you might be writing from one particular angle and it doesn’t really quite make sense but that’s why it’s so brilliant to have an editor! They can keep you along the right lines and say ‘What about this?’, ‘Do you think this might be slightly confusing?’. I think it’s a very different discipline but it’s one that I enjoy!
Never Greener, Ruth Jones’ debut novel is out on paperback on 30 May and her second book, Us Three, is out on 16 April 2020.