Occasionally stories write themselves. By this I mean the plot starts on a journey of its own, wandering off in directions never imagined. Sub plots seem to pop up over night. Characters act in uncharacteristic ways. Settings have more appeal and texture. Dialogue becomes grittier.
I’ve written nine books and I’m currently writing my tenth, but never have I woken each morning and found my mind flooded with new ideas. I have no idea what’s sparked this newfound burst of creativity, but I’m not complaining. It’s great. I have to spend a little time each day restructuring and licking the plot into loose shape, but then, all I have to do is write the words around the new story.
Even the ending has changed. The main protagonists should still make it to the last chapters, but goodies may become baddies and baddies may become goodies or a bit of both.
This is a new way of writing. Being a crime writer, where the outcome of an intricate plot is hidden from the reader until the end, it’s important to know, in advance, where the story is heading. I’d planned all my previous books in detail, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, with a template for each character, and research done on locations.
Now, as and when new ideas, twist and turns, sub plots, and other details trickle through into my mind, I jot them down, and later rework the outline plot. I’m not sure if this new approach will work, it takes more time and effort, and the final book will not end up as I’d planned. It’s a bit like juggling balls in the air, only they’re in my mind, and I don’t know when or where any of them may drop.
But I think the book will be better, with fresh ideas and a more interesting and intriguing story. Well, that’s my hope–the proof will be in the published book.
Night Running, my work in progress, will be published next year. An unedited version of what I’ve written so far can be read on Wattpad.
The first story.
Giant international corporations hire hitmen. The CIA and MI6 sanction immoral and illegal skulduggery. People die. Harry Fingle–an investigative journalist, searching for his brother’s killer–is appalled, and tries to publish his findings. He’s gagged, an assassin is briefed, and his ex-lover is stabbed.
Harry’s a pawn in a real-life game of chess played out by the security services.
The second story.
The wrong man is murdered in a café in Istanbul. A feared Russian assassin is mortified and vows to right his mistake. Harry Fingle’s lover becomes over-inquisitive, and his spy-friend tells him to watch out.
Tension mounts. The Russians hire a Serbian hitman as a back-up executioner and Harry begins to question his trusted spy-friend’s loyalties.
The final story
Murderers walk free from court, juries are nobbled, spooks leak secrets, police fix investigations, prisoners escape, and the media stay silent. Zero One is dominant. One man controls it.
A lingering love affair, Harry Fingle’s discovery of the name of Zero One’s chief, and the breakout from jail of Harry’s nemesis–the feared Russian assassin Grigoriy Nabutov–make for a tense and emotional conclusion to the trilogy.
Wattpad. Read for free:
Selected chapters from the three books in The Harry Fingle Collection–Playing Harry, Assassination Continuum, and Zero One–plus the The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer in full.
Plus three complete books in the Originals series. A further book will be added each week.