Thanks, Dawn. I think writers handle this in whatever way feels most comfortable to us. I am definitely a plotter. When I begin a new book I start with a situation or intriguing fact and build the story around it. For Sweet's Sweets, Samantha Sweet book #2, someone had told me about his eerie experience of coming across a blood-soaked overcoat at a thrift shop, which started me wondering … what if Sam found such a garment in one of those abandoned houses?
I began building a plot around that premise. Always, before I begin writing the first draft I have an opening scene in my head, and I make sure I know the crime, the victim, and the motive—at the very least. Usually I also know the killer but I must admit there have been a few instances where I started out with one person in mind and switched it partway through. It depends on how obvious the solution seems. If I think it’s going to be too easy, I’ll throw in a wrench or two to keep you guessing.
The other aspect to my stories, apart from the crime and its solution, is the ongoing personal life of my sleuth. That’s an area where I start with an idea about where it will end up (does he propose by the end of this book, or will it happen in a later one?), but I let the characters lead the way. Some of their actions have even surprised me!
I find plotting can be one of the most fun parts of writing (it certainly goes faster than actually getting those 75,000+ words on the page). I love playing with ideas and visualizing characters in my head before they come to life in the story. My love of plot may be a big reason why I currently have more than a dozen books plotted which I’ve not yet had time to write. I guess this means I won’t be retiring anytime soon …
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Blog Note: I’m sorry to say that after my blog was caught up in some kind of spamming web, I’ve had to close it to comments from readers. It was taking a huge amount of my time to ferret out the offenders and delete their posts. My real readers know how to email me with comments or questions. I’m always happy to hear from you!
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