Plotting is all about fitting the pieces of a jigsaw together. That is certainly true of novels and the trick is not to force things. Wait for ideas to find themselves, do not shoehorn them together for the sake of it.

Take The Long Dead as an example. I had been inspired by an old wartime POW camp and had the idea of writing a story based on events in its past.

Also, there was a wartime story in my family’s past that had always fascinated me, involving the death of my great uncle, and I knew that one day it would help with a novel.

When the two ideas found each other, the result became The Long Dead.

Book details: When an archaeological investigation of an old prisoner of war camp turns up several bodies in unmarked graves, it should be an open and shut case for DCI John Blizzard.
But, on a foggy November morning, his instinct that something is not quite right is confirmed when forensics show that while most of the victims died during a flu epidemic after the Second World War, one of the deaths was far more recent.
Who is this man? Why was he killed? As Blizzard and his team investigate, they begin to uncover a cruel crime, and a promise of revenge that goes back generations. Worse, the killer is at large and now motivated to strike again. Can Blizzard piece together the puzzle and let old wounds finally heal?
Set in the fictional port of Hafton in northern England, THE LONG DEAD is a contemporary British whodunnit. If you are a reader who likes having to guess the identity of the murderer, you’ll enjoy picking up on the various clues. With snappy dialogue and convincing characters, this is a page turner that the whole family will appreciate.
This book is the first in a series of novels featuring detective John Blizzard and his team. The full list, in order of publication, is:
1. THE LONG DEAD
2. STRANGE LITTLE GIRL
3. THE RAILWAY MAN
4. THE SECRETS MAN
You can buy the book at https://www.amazon.co.uk/LONG-DEAD-gripping-detective-Blizzard-eboo...

 

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A question of pace

I am editing the first draft of a new Jack Harris novel at the moment and my big preoccupation is pace.Learning how to write a narrative with the right pace is one of the most crucial writing skills. Get it wrong and you are jeopardising your chances of success. Get it right and you are onto something.In this case, there are some sections where characters are repeating what others have already said in other passages.Deleting some lines has removed such sections, eradicated the slowing of pace…See More
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