Saturday, 29 November 2014

How to plot a thriller - ways to make it easier.

So here you are with this brand new spark of a brilliant idea that you just feel sure will make a wonderful thriller… But what next, you may ask? 

Fascinating characters always help.
Well of course, you must have some fabulous characters in mind and they should be larger than life in lots of ways. The main characters should also be direct opposites in order to generate the maximum conflict. 

The setting should also reflect the type of story you want to write and the actual plot needs to be thought out in advance (well, at least a little). If you are a ‘seat of your pants’ writer that’s okay but you will find it seriously difficult if you don’t at least have some kind of idea of what your story is trying to say. For myself, I start with the main story question. Is my hero/heroine going to succeed/overcome whatever the story problem/quest is? I then plan the story as a synopsis type of thing. Using a paragraph to write a short description of the scene I see in my mind’s eye.

My own thrillers are all about plot and character. "The Witcheye Gene" &  "The Afterlife of Darkmares" (Both available on Amazon) But I digress...

Next I consider what conflict there will be and what story point is moving the tale forward.  I try to see the whole plot as a rising line on a graph where the incidents, the events, the suspense elements are all increasing and the hero’s problems are multiplying exponentially. Everything he/she tries to do to solve the problem is met by yet more problems, increasing all the time until the final climax after which the scenes become abut resolution of the original story problem.

After I have these rough ideas down I write scene cards but when it comes to writing the actual story I am free to discard and add as necessary but if and when I get a bit lost I can always refer to my original plot.  Then there is the issue of subplots and multiple viewpoints… But that’s for another post, methinks…

So how do you do it? Do you plan or just write?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to read how you plan, Pat. If I plan and know what's going to happen, I lose the will to carry on and writing becomes very hard work x