A Life Of Fiction CLXXII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

A Few Notes On Storylines: Here are a few brief notes on constructing storylines. First of all, even before you put a pen to paper, don’t think of suddenly coming up with the entire storyline. Imagine how you want the story to end. Then plan how you are going to reach that ending. You don’t have to note your plans down – those who write quickly can, sometimes, keep such plans entirely within their minds. Try and have an idea of the ending, and how the story unfolds from the beginning to reach that ending.
Sometimes I have written the beginning of a novel, and sketched out the next couple of chapters, and then written the ending, while it is still fresh in my mind. Other details can be filled in as the story progresses.
This is especially true of murder mysteries. You have to know who the killer is, at the start of the novel, even if it is something which is only revealed on the last page of the novel. work back from the end, deciding why the killer murdered the victim, and how it was done, and how the person tried to cover up the crime. Be sure to include red herrings, to try and lead the investigator astray (and possibly the reader, as well). People who read murder mysteries don’t always want to know the identity of the killer from the start (unless they are fans of Columbo, of course).
Create story arcs, when you are ready, on your computer or on a piece of paper. If you are doing a complex novel you want to be able to move around sections of the prose, especially if you have multiple storylines running through your prose. Don’t be scared of moving things around to where you feel they fit better.
When you are ready start writing, when you think that you know what is going to happen. But don’t be scared to modify the storyline as you are going along. Sometimes novels can evolve as you are writing them.
That’s enough for now. But I may come back to this, later, in more detail.

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