Writers are generally either ‘plotters’ or ‘pantsers’ when it comes to writing a novel. This means they either plot out every part of the book before writing it, or they just fly by the seat of their pants. Before now, I’d always been a pantser. I had a vague idea of where I would be going, but I’d just follow the directions that my internal Satnav threw out at me. I always got there in one piece.
When I was writing ‘Hypnotic’ it was the first time that I’d had to actually plot a story. Mainly because it was so bloody complicated. I had to get every little element worked out in order that it didn’t all fall apart halfway through.
I had the bare bones of it in my head and for a good few months I tried plotting out my story but it got more and more complicated as I went on. This meant I had to keep stepping away before it sent me screaming around the bend.
In the beginning I had my protagonist in mind, but the villain of the piece was completely different. I knew that my victim was going to die from day one, but initially the person that carried out the murder and the reason behind why they did so were very different, and everything I thought up just didn’t hit the mark.
This batting back and forth went on for a looooooong time until one day I actually had a Eureka! moment. I literally wrote these words in my notepad: ‘OMG!!!! What if So and So is the murderer and not Thingamebob’. That was it. Everything finally became clear and I could then plan out the storyline, leading to a satisfactory ending. Phew.
However I still had one struggle as to how I would tell the story from the hypnotisee’s (not even sure that’s a word) point of view. And it was obvious really…I couldn’t. It would have been been some dialogue counting down to a trance, and then several blank pages until they woke back up again. Hmm.
That was when the wine spoke to me (blessed be the wine) and suggested what a great idea it would be to write in a dual perspective. It really was an excellent idea other than the fact that writing a novel in dual perspective probably isn’t the easiest option for your first book.
Hey ho. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I set off with some serious planning, skipping between two people’s heads, neither of whom did what I wanted them to half time! I had to work in a three act structure, the inciting incident, rising action, a mid-point crisis, and a resolution which in itself needed a climax and a denouement. I bet you’ve just read that and said to yourself ‘er, what?’ Yep, me too. Turns out writing a book aint easy. There are rules…