I know I’m super late, but I wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone is off to an amazing start to the new year. I got a dry erase board calendar in December and had the entire month of January planned well before January 1st. Boy am I glad I did! It is already almost the end of the month. Time is already flying!
I just want to stop for a second, and acknowledge that for many, 2020 has brought on immense devastation. I am so grateful to see American firefighters get a warm welcome as they got off the plane to help the firefighters in Australia. My heart has been breaking seeing all the devastation, but I cried tears of joy when I saw that. May God keep these brave men and women safe as they brave the wildfires and help save lives.
It is very hard to stay creative if you’re tuned in to what’s going on in the world. It is a constant struggle, but I’ve been in beast mode writing my book finally! I’m writing a thriller which is my favorite genre to read and write. I didn’t realize the processes involved in writing thrillers. I’ve been reading thriller books and watching thriller movies to stay in the head space to write. This is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I do a word count every five minutes it feels like.
Also, I am an avid pantser when writing. A pantser is a person that writes with no outline or guidance. They just let the ideas flow. This is the best way for me to write even though it can be frustrating not having any direction. Ideas come to me all the time when I’m writing, so sticking to an outline just doesn’t work for me.
The focus of this post is to comment on a great video by one of my favorite AuthorTubers, Alexa Donne. Check out her video: “Plot A Thriller Backwards! How to Plot a Thriller.” YouTube, 17 Jan. 2020, https://youtu.be/b-nkedZnppY.
In the video, she explains how to write the motive first then work your way back to the beginning of the book. I loved her advice. It would speed things up when writing my book. But her advice is not going to work for me for these reasons:
- I don’t want to know what’s going to happen yet in my thriller.
As a pantser, I’m just letting the characters do what they do. I am not dictating how things are flowing. I have stumbled upon some excellent scenes and plot twists by letting my creative juices flow. Also, I am not sure who to choose from for the “who done it” yet. If I start writing the ending ahead of time, it may take the book down a less gripping road. I want to shock my audience so I’m trying to be as raw and gritty as possible.
- It would take the fun out of the process if I wrote the motive first.
I’ve learned that if you’re writing an adult fiction book, you should aim for 80,000-100,000 words. That is a lot of words. I am currently taking my time making sure each chapter flows nicely together. I don’t want the book to be one great ending, and then a lot of boring chapters leading up to that. I am devoting extra time into each chapter. I am always keeping my audience and myself in mind as I write. I want to be on the edge of my seat after each page. Writing the motive will be a very welcomed treat after all the work on the other chapters.
- I am becoming more invested in my characters by writing beginning to end.
In thrillers, there are characters you either don’t like or understand. I’m delving into the psyche of the protagonist. She was the lead character by default. I couldn’t stand her at first. I was going to restructure her in the book. I began to peel back the layers of her personality and experiences to make her more real, and surprisingly more understandable.
As you probably can tell, I’m having a lot of fun writing this book even though I have no life right now. I’m doing exactly what I set out to do this year, and that’s a good feeling. Writing is requiring a lot of brain energy, so I will try to post as much as I can.
Until we speak again, I hope you’re tackling your goals for 2020!