I’ve been wrestling with the plot of my next Inspector Horton Marine Mystery crime novel over the last few days – hence the silence on my blog, and the silence around the house. I get so absorbed in it, that I find it hard to think of anything else. I’m just over two thirds of the way through writing the first draft and I’ve got to that stage where I need to know exactly where I’m going and with whom. You’d think I would have it all worked out by now, having written nearly seventy thousand words but I haven’t. I always do this – it’s the way I work. I have an idea for the novel, I work out the basic plotline, and I do the character sketches. Then I’m ready to get cracking on the creative writing stuff. I love getting down to the actual writing as soon as I can even though I often don’t know the ending or even ‘who done it’ because the whole novel doesn’t come alive until Horton starts investigating and gets into all sorts of trouble as a result.

As I write, the plot becomes more and more interesting and complex, full of twists and turns so much so that I often tie myself up in knots! That’s when I need to stop writing and do some more hard thinking. I need to revisit the plot (or even re-invent it) to ensure that what I am actually creating is believable, exciting and full of tension.

With this novel, like most of my previous crime novels, the plot line is multi-faceted. And now after a few days hard thinking, and much scribbling I’ve hit the eureka button (although I’ve still got some further research to undertake). At last I think it all ties up. I say think because until I start working on it again I won’t really know but I’m optimistic and excited.

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Comment by Pauline Rowson on August 12, 2009 at 4:51pm
Hi Annika, Thanks for your comment. I too love reading crime fiction ( and writing it) and have done so since a child, starting with mystery stories. No, I am not yet translated into Swedish, though I would love to be. Hopefully one day. In the Inspector Horton novel I have just finished writing, he actually goes to Sweden to help solve the crime so there's a coincidence! I hope you enjoy reading whichever book you choose. Best wishes. Pauline
Comment by Annika Abrahamsson on August 12, 2009 at 6:58am
I´m not sure if I´m the only "reader" on this page, but I get this feeling that´s the case. However, Ever since I learned how to read, I´ve read crime fiction and I guess I´ll always will. It´s something special with that kind of literature! Almost all of my favourite authors come from Great Britain, but I have to admit that I´ve never heard about you, Pauline, before. And I got the explanation right after I informed myself a little about you and your books: there aren´t any swedish internet pages about you, and your books haven´t been translated (at least not yet) into swedish. I can´t speak for the rest of my country, but I´m pretty sure that I would appreciate your work. And to find out, I´ll order the first book in your series.

I hope that you´ll find an answer to your problem. Since I´m not a writer, I don´t have any advice to give you, but I guess that you´ll figure something out .... eventually.

/ Annika
Comment by Pauline Rowson on August 11, 2009 at 4:39am
Understand exactly what you mean.
Comment by I. J. Parker on August 11, 2009 at 4:13am
I don't know if it's because I've read too many mysteries, but I get sort of sick of plotting toward revealing the guilty party. This time I was going to end up with no murder at all, just an accidental fall. It wasn't a very good option, and I changed it. But I have written a book that started out as an accidental poisoning and became a faked death. :)
Comment by Pauline Rowson on August 11, 2009 at 3:47am
You're correct. Sometimes I think I know whodunit and then I realise it's either too obvious, or I'm bored with that character and if I am then the reader is certainly going to be. And when I twig who the killer or killers really are and I'm surprised - then the reader is going to be too! Hope that makes sense? I know what I mean anyway.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on August 11, 2009 at 1:39am
Pauline, there was a reason I knew I was going to like you--sounds like I write in a similar fashion. I suspect most writers follow this general set of guidelines. It certainly is more interesting to know the general outline of the book--but the whodunit part is a sudden discovery in the middle of the writing.
Comment by Pauline Rowson on August 11, 2009 at 12:19am
It happens like that, doesn't it? My management and marketing training has helped me a lot to think around problems, carry out 'what if' scenarios and come up with new ideas. And once you open your mind solutions begin to present themselves - not fully formed to begin with, but you get there in the end - hopefully!
Comment by I. J. Parker on August 11, 2009 at 12:10am
Just passed that point myself. Had to stop and start revising to tie up all the loose ends and correct inconsistencies. I've been muddling along for nearly 70,000 words with no idea who done it. :) The solution just came to me, thank God.

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