With only a morning or two of planning, an opening few paragraphs conceived while out running, and a skeleton life history of the victim, I began writing No Chance, the third Kent Fisher murder mystery. With nothing set in stone, it’s a leap of faith, which makes it exciting.
I’m well into Holy Island by LJ Ross – a police procedural with a touch of romance. The characters are gelling, the plot is gathering momentum, and I’ve no idea which way the story will go.
It’s the first DCI Ryan story and the first I’ve read. The author handles the proceedings with confidence and authority. While the subject matter is gritty, the author doesn’t fill the pages with lurid details or profanities like some books in this genre.
I find that refreshing. And I love the cover.
Following my review of Robin Roughley’s, The Way That It Falls, I’ve had the chance to interview him about his writing, the DS Lasser series, and a new character he’s created. I hope to post the interview tomorrow afternoon, all being well, so look out for it on my website and social media.
The First Chapter
On Monday morning, armed with a cup of tea on my desk, I settled in my chair, and pasted the few paragraphs of my third Kent Fisher novel onto the blank document. Within seconds, I was editing and expanding those first paragraphs, adding more dialogue, changing names, and building on the sketch I’d started with.
The creative juices flowed, picking up the story as I followed Kent on his journey to solving yet another complex and baffling murder. That’s the beauty of writing in first person present tense. I’m in Kent’s head, seeing everything through his eyes as it happens. We both discover the clues at the same moment, which makes the writing more vivid, I hope.
By the time I broke for lunch, I’d written half the first chapter, ending on a point of intrigue. Ideas for the remainder of the chapter filled my thoughts, along with a killer twist for the end of the novel.
As an author, those are the great moments when the creative subconscious makes connections and offers possibilities you can’t yet see or understand. That’s why it’s easier to make the leap of faith, to trust in your ideas and storytelling, when you know almost nothing about the story you’re creating.
But that’s also what makes it exciting – not knowing where the journey will take you, who you’ll meet along the way, and how it will change you.
When I started No Accident and No Bodies, I had a clear idea of the story, the victims, the suspects and the backstory. Without having a book accepted, let alone published, I lacked the confidence and belief to forge ahead and trust my instincts.
Confidence doesn’t stop me writing rubbish, however. I completed the first chapter on Tuesday, only to delete the second half of it the following morning and write something much better. That evening, I thought about what I would write the following morning, which may well be how I work from this point.
Since then, my subconscious has delivered another interesting twist, which Kent will struggle to unravel, just as he did in the first two novels. That’s the point – these murders are meant to be almost impossible to solve.
I’ve also decided to change the title of the book to No Remorse, which sounds more intriguing and more like a murder mystery.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.
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