Roald Dahl had a very strict daily routine. He would eat breakfast in bed and open his post. At 10.30 a.m. he would walk through the garden to his writing hut and work until 12 p.m. when he went back to the house for lunch – typically, a gin and tonic followed by Norwegian prawns with mayonnaise and lettuce. At the end of every meal, Roald and his family had a chocolate bar chosen from a red plastic box.
After a snooze, he would take a flask of tea back to the writing hut and work from 4 p.m. till 6 p.m. He would be back at the house at exactly six o’clock, ready for his dinner.
He always wrote in pencil and only ever used a very particular kind of yellow pencil with a rubber on the end. Before he started writing, Roald made sure he had six sharpened pencils in a jar by his side. They lasted for two hours before needing to be resharpened.
Roald was very particular about the kind of paper he used as well. He wrote all of his books on American yellow legal pads, which were sent to him from New York. He wrote and rewrote until he was sure that every word was just right. A lot of yellow paper was thrown away. Once a month, when his large wastepaper basket was full to overflowing, he made a bonfire just outside his writing hut (where one of the white walls was soon streaked with black soot).
Once Roald had finished writing a book, he gave the pile of yellow scribbled paper to Wendy, his secretary, and she turned it into a neat printed manuscript to send to his publisher.
And don’t forget to check out some of the classic Roald Dahl stories we all know and love on our website.