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Taking my own advice

6th March 2017 | By | No Comments

There’s so much advice available to authors, especially when, for whatever reason, we falter in our story. Sometimes it’s a plot hole, or a character that doesn’t quite work that brings us staggering to a halt. if, like me you have been churning out a couple of thousand words a day, it comes as a shock to be sitting staring at the screen, unsure of where to go next because I have had an IDEA.

My new book, the third in the Dan Hellier series, has been pootling along quite nicely until now. 20,000 words in, and here I am having a wobble about where to go. Some advice says; take a break, walk away for a few weeks. Some says; write something completely different, a poem, or a playscript for example. Others advise us to keep sitting down at the computer every day and just write anything at all until something good rises out of sheer bloody-minded determination.

I’m tempted to do the first, will probably try the second, and the third is what I’ve been doing all afternoon, until I needed a break anyway and I’m writing this. Truth is, I always have a mini crisis of confidence at this point. I have all the potential twists and turns in my head, then something new pops out at me, and I think, can I add that in? Will it make the story too complicated? How much subplot can I write before it becomes the main plot, and the murder my detective is supposed to be investigating becomes secondary to his personal life? Would anybody mind if that was the case? Will it be boring to go off at a tangent, or will it add depth to the characters? I can hear readers’ voices saying ‘When does the action start?’. Boring is not an option in a thriller. Aargh…

So, I’ve decided to just write it, big subplot and all, and see where I end up. I may have to cut it all out at the end, but that’s okay, as long as I don’t end up staring at the screen again!

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