How do you write a book that will make an exciting read?
The answer isn’t obvious when you are at the beginning stage, sifting through the possible options.
I took a number of ideas to my writer’s group and asked them what they thought. Most said that the harder idea would be impossible: write the simpler one.
So I went home and thought about the opportunities for the plot and the different ways the characters could develop, within that simple scenario. And the answer to my question became clear: I had to take the harder option, because it offered not only my characters more room for development, but also me as a writer.
I deliberately bit off more than I could chew, and started chomping.
So far, it’s proved a surprisingly delicious meal, full of unexpected flavours and textures – with that special Zing! Can I make it work?
The answer is, I have to. Somehow.
On every page my characters find themselves in places I never imagined they could go; we are all clinging by our fingernails to a crumbling crag, hoping for a way out. Because though I have a sense of the direction, I don’t know the detail of the story, or what is going to happen next.
This is a dangerous way to write, and it may be the wrong one. It’s certainly time consuming, because it takes me up a lot of blind alleys and means large amounts of rewriting. But I’m living on the edge trying to create this new world, and make my characters live – and die – convincingly within it.
And it is thrilling!