Monday, 11 May 2015

The Plot Thickens...

Apologies for not posting a blog for a while, but I've been making extended trips to the 'story-board inside my head' during the last few weeks. It's been fun, engaging and challenging - trying to get the structure and shape of the outline for my next novel to feel right. We don't want sagging in Act Two, now do we? Thanks to Catherine Ryan Howard for suggesting the book, Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder, a screen writer for Disney and Steven Spielberg, no less. Many of his principles apply to novels.

My Story-Board

I now have something that looks like it could work, but has room for manoeuvre - the story won't live and breathe if everything is set in stone. Due to a niggling back ache, I'm having to spend less time at my computer, so I've made the decision to 'savour' writing the novel this time - a new and uncomfortable concept as it means taking longer for the first draft (I think about nine weeks for a full novel is my record), with more breaks. This goes against my natural instinct (and Stephen King's sound advice) to 'get the story down' - there is a part of me which panics fearing I'm going to lose the thread if there is too much dallying between scenes. Once the energy is there, I'm usually off the line like a sprinter and don't stop until I write 'The End'. This time, it needs to be different or I'll end up in traction for the next few weeks. Hence the rigorous planning at the start, so I can quickly and easily check 'where I am' in the action.

I don't like sharing much about a new novel in advance - feels too much like jinxing it (and you never know who is listening to those tender and snatchable ideas...). Suffice to say, it's not a 'whodunit', it's more of a 'how can this be possible?' and 'how on earth is she going to handle this nightmare situation?'

Next - it's time to obey my computer alert, stand up and stretch : 'Move away from the screen and clear the area - right now!'
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AJ Waines is the author of: The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
  • Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.
  • Girl on a Train also became a Number One Bestseller in the entire Kindle Chart in Australia (2015)
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