Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kari's Kave: My Story Took Over...

Wow, this is a first for me.

With the first two books in my series, I started out knowing who the victim was going to be and who the killer would be. I am not a plotter or a pantser, I am both.

I usually know the basics: killer, victim and main suspect. Then I write the opening. After that, I plot out a few chapters at a time. I usually figure out my suspects and red herrings, etc. and weave them in. I write some more, and then plot a few more chapters.

Many times things will occur to me as I am writing, and I come up with the best twits and turns in the middle of the book, then go back and add them in.

This time with book three, my story literally took over.

My victim said, "You want to do what to me? Um, no, I am having way too much fun. Besides, you've made me too likable and your readers would be very upset if you suddenly killed me off."

Darnit, I thought. My victime was right! So I chose another victim that made much more sense and wouldn't upset my readers.

Only.....once I changed my victim, my killer suddenly seemed so obvious. In book one, the killer is hard to figure out, but still, some people figured it out right at the end. In book two, the killer is even harder to figure out, and I have even more twists you won't see coming.

Talk about pressure.

Book one was a national bestseller and nominted by RT for Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011. So, the pressure to make book two even better was on. I actually think it IS better, and so does my editor. What does that mean?

Basically, that book three has to rock! EEEEEEKKK!!!!

Talk about pressure. So when my killer seems obvious, and I don't have that many twists yet, I started to freak out. I think that's why my story took over. It knew I was having a meltdown, so it decided to help me out.

And man, I think I've come up with a great new killer and some twists even I didn't see coming. I really hope this one is the best book yet. Time will tell....in the meantime.....back to writing!

So tell me, has this ever happened to you? Inquiring minds want to know.

8 comments:

Cassy Pickard said...

Kari: I always love your posts. You never leave me without a smile or an outright chuckle. I've had a few characters take over but I still have to learn how to let them do that. I have a tendency to scold them and make them behave. Maybe that's why some of my scenes need more punch. As I've mentioned before, I do talk to them out loud. After a conversation with one, my writing is always better.

Thanks for the fun post, AND, good luck with finding out who dunnit.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

ha ha thanks Cassy! I love talking to my characters out loud as well. Always fun :-)

Lindsay said...

I find I get my best writing done when I listen to my characters. They are the ones that seem to come up with the most interesting plot twists which in some cases give me a red herring at the right time.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I hear you, Lindsay. Gott love those red herrings :-)

Liz Lipperman said...

I know this story will rock, Kari. And I hear you about the pressure of making the next book as good or better than the previous one.

Now back to my writing cave. I'm so close!!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Good for you, Liz, I just passed page 100! Still so much further to go....eeek!

Anita Clenney said...

Kari, I always come up with the best twists and turns well into the story. In fact, I'm kind of stuck now with that problem. Not stuck, but I'm having to revise my revisions. I keep seeing awesome opportunities that I can't miss.

As far as characters, I love it when they go a different direction than what I plan. So much fun.

I have no doubts that the second book will be even better than the first, and the third will be even better than the second.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks Anita! I sure hope so :-)