Snap Decision follows a young woman in New York who becomes involved with a mysterious wealthy businessman and winds up in a dangerous situation. How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists? Or can they be the same thing?
In my work, I’ve learned that story development and shocking plot twists are closer to being the same thing than separate elements. In order to deliver the shock, I need to develop the story around the shocking plot twist I have already chosen. Story development and plot twists need one another, especially in the thriller/suspense/mystery genres. I know I want to shock my readers, more than once, if possible, which means thinking of other plot twists to toss my readers’ way. It’s so fun!
In terms of balancing the two, I begin by establishing the major plot line by developing my main characters, generating the crime, and sketching scenarios. Simultaneously, I form a sub-plot line in which I take one of my characters (or two) and throw them into the thick of an unexpected turn of events. It is when these two lines meet that the shocking plot twist is solidified. The actions and backstories of my characters are imperative in building an unexpected plot twist with the goal of leaving my readers stunned. I must admit when my readers use the words, ‘gob smacked’, ‘blind-sided’, and ‘never saw it coming’ to describe the twists makes me smile for a week.
In closing, I l have to admit I love to shock and surprise my readers and I hope to continue to do just that for a long time.
What is the next book that you are working on and when can your fans expect it to be out?
As of now, I have a very rough frame of a sequel to Snap Decision. Lots of blue ink cover the margins of the printed copy! As a former teacher, I go ‘old-school’ by using pens to self-edit. The notes I write indicate potential plot/sub plot lines, character development and plot twists. Each day I try to spend an hour to three hours working. Those hours are spent writing, deleting, adding, marketing or simply discussing my ideas with my incredibly supportive and helpful husband. As far as publishing the sequel, my goal is a year to eighteen months. I don’t have a specific date yet. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your time.