It’s been a while since I lasted posted about my novel journey and that had mainly been down to time. There have been periods in my writing life where I have managed to squeeze in huge amounts of writing. Tens of thousands of words into a few weeks. I wrote a million words of free fan fiction in just over a year. But lately there has been a lot going on. New businesses to launch, new clients to work with, a new house to decorate and lots of business travel.
This has meant that getting started on my upcoming novel has been delayed. But it has also meant that I have been able to give a lot of thought to the plot. I love daydreaming about plot ideas when I am travelling, be it car, train or plane. Most of my best ideas come from when I am travelling from place to place. I wrote most of the first draft of Flight SQA016 on train journeys.
So, the lack of writing time has enabled me to flesh out a lot of the plot of what I want to write. Earlier on I blogged about deciding on genres, specifically about the commercial need–in lesfic at least–for romance. I always knew that romance would feature somewhere in the next book I write but I didn’t want to write a romance novel.
As I have thought more about the plot I have realised that it’s not necessary, for me, to choose which genre to write. Once you have planned your story, you find that it fits into a genre or two of its own accord. Mine is fitting into crime and mystery.
When I wrote about the spark of an idea, I mentioned people watching and specifically motorway service stations. This idea stayed with me and I started to think about the unique nature of a motorway services.
Many strangers converge on motorway services for a break from a long journey, they may only ever visit once. But what about the people who visit frequently? The people who go to the services as part of their daily routine? And what about the staff who work there. Seeing a friendly, familiar face must be comforting in amongst the sea of thousands of others. And what about when that friendly face suddenly disappears? Could a low-paid motorway services worker ever convince law officials that something terrible must have happened to a beautiful woman who’s name she doesn’t even know?
This is the basis for The Hunt.
Amy Hewitt never left her supposedly temporary job at the local motorway services after she graduated from university. She’s in a rut and she doesn’t even know it. Her happy-go-lucky exterior hides someone who is scared to get on with the next stage of her life. On top of that, she struggles with the fact that she’s pretty sure she’s a lesbian. In fact, she’s convinced. Because she spends most of her job staring at business women in suits and wishing they’d give her a second glance.
When one finally does give her a second glance, and even a third and a fourth, she can’t believe her luck. But it’s just Amy’s luck that the mystery woman one day vanishes after several months of the same exacting schedule. The police aren’t interested so Amy investigates the disappearance herself. A shocking discovery throws Amy into the middle of the action and criminal investigator Elise York is sent to bring her in for questioning.
Now I have the basis for the plot, I need to get writing. All writers are different but I usually sit down and plot out each chapter, noting what POV the chapter will be written in, what will predominately happen and anything major I must include like breadcrumbs for future revelations. I like to write front to back, I don’t like to skip chapters or weave things together as it disturbs my flow.
My next step is to map out the chapters fully and then I can finally begin writing!