…I don’t plot in my writing, I am what people call a pantser. I have two guys, a vague idea of story and off I go. When I have tried to plot, and I know what is happening when, I get bored, and lose interest (I am so fickle). So, I like to meet my characters as I go along.
But what happens when you are thinking about writing a trilogy with three couples but a crime that links them all. I did this in Montana, but it was very much ‘things happening as I wrote’. I knew Justin was missing, but was he dead? I knew that Adam was injured and had sever memory loss, but how much would he remember? How nice was the life that other characters lived? How could I ground the story in reality?
In fact, I don’t think I ever had an idea of how the crime would unfold in Montana. The same happened in ‘A Reason To Stay’. I had no idea what the actual crime was, and why these bodies were being found in the snow on the mountain. But, somehow, as I wrote, and I discovered my characters, it came to me, and of course, I had to go back and fix bits and pieces, but in general it was smooth and a twist not a lot of people saw coming.
Now back to plotting and the trilogy issue – I decided I knew who the baddie was, why they’d done the ‘thing’ and that was it… so I decided I needed to at least have the beats of the story so I could hit them in each book. The beat is a conceptual turning point in my story, clues, hints, the romance itself impacting on the crime story.
So, I sat down with my post it notes (mauve for characters, orange for plot, yellow for motivation, if you’re interested!) and began to create my new world. The town of Lancaster Falls is based on a town I visited in PA earlier this year, so I have that pretty much in my head, and now I have the beats of the crime story.
Now, all I need to do is write 3 novels, 3 romances, and make it all fit.