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Ken's books—especially The Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End —are known for their plot twists and turns. How does he keep all these storylines straight? "I'm a great planner, so before I ever write chapter 1, I work out what happens in every chapter and who the characters are," he says. "I usually spend a year on the outline."

On a typical writing day, Ken says he likes to get an early start. "I wake up with the story in my head, so I really like to be at my desk about five minutes after I wake up," he says. "So I don't get dressed. I put on a bathrobe, I make tea and sit at my desk."

See what else Ken does during a typical day of writing.  Watch

While sipping his English breakfast tea, Ken always reads what he wrote the previous day first. "I always change it," he says. "I could always think of ways to improve it."
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