5 February 2020 - Adding depth and menace!
In previous posts I mentioned how the novel about pregnant bar worker Lucy was evolving into something deeper, becoming a true prelude to the thriller trilogy I am writing. As part of this process I have decided to add two storylines that create challenges for the writer.
There is a regular customer at the bar, a man with psychological issues. At the moment you only see his behavioural traits. This was deliberate, forming part of the mystery element of the storyline. However, rather than just showing his mannerisms, I'm thinking of taking the reader inside the guy's mind. It is very difficult trying to imagine exactly how someone might feel and handle their challenges. In At Reception Sally has some characteristics of a person on the autism spectrum. I was able to achieve this with the help of a couple of books*. BUT in the case of my character, he has serious complex problems. As far as I can tell he can't be narrowly classified. I once read a book that said we all have some of the same problems but the difference is in the degree of severity. So, I must imagine myself and dig deep...
Just over a month into her pregnancy Lucy starts having unusual dreams. These are nothing like those she's encountered before. The description of her series of dreams was planned to start in the trilogy. When you encounter Lucy in the first book she is suffering nightmares. They add intensity to the thriller element of the story. However, at the current stage of her pregnancy the dreams are relatively simple. Nevertheless, they add an additional feeling of menace to the story. Recreating her dreams on paper is quite a challenge. I'm hoping the reader will be able to visualise the richness of them without my having to use excessive description!
Completion of these last two storylines and expansion of a few draft conversations are all that remain to be done. There comes a point in any novel when you must draw a line under it. Say 'It's done'. I'm certainly a lot closer to that today than I was six months ago, and the result is a much richer reading experience!
'All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome' by Kathy Hoopman
'Life on the Autism Spectrum - A Guide for Girls and Women' by Karen McKibbin
both from Jessica Kingsley Publishers www.jkp.com