Hi dear friends,
We are nearly at the end of Jay’s interview!!!!
When we FINALLY get a glimpse of Jay’s diabolical scheming mind! And …was it worth it or rather “much ado about nothing”?
Link to previous post ->HERE
Another big skill is your scheming mind. I gushed about how you carefully and stealthily built your plot till the culprit. I never guessed I was being tricked. I never saw your plot twists and big reveal coming. Once again how did you work? Did you know everything right from the start? Or had big reveals along the ride? What’s the trick to take the reader’s hand and lead him where you want him to go unsuspecting?
I love this aspect of writing – secrets and weaving. It’s why I really want to write a murder / serial killer thriller next! Once I had the key plot worked out, I went back to every chapter to lay the ground work to do a few things – every chapter must leave a clue in my rule book. You can’t just whip out a non-sensical ending and expect readers to be WOW’d. It could be a word or an image, a fleeting comment or certain body language. The more you add in leading someone to a certain conclusion, the easier it is to distract them. I knew most big things from the beginning. The one surprise for me was Rachel. She had little to no part in the original outline, but the more I needed a diverse set of characters, the more it became critical to tie her to more than just Amalia. She had to have relationships with a few people in order to make her a potential theory for readers.
Readers root for someone in the first few chapters. It may change, but if you lock on to their emotions in the beginning, they will often stick with that character through a lot. It’s like the telephone game… the more second-hand the information gets, the less reliable it is. I try to put the real comments in the hands of the authentic characters and the misleading ones in the hands of the characters we learn to be wary of over time. It’s a bit of a mathematical equation for me. I have to believe it as I read it, or I can’t expect anyone else to.
Where did you get your ideas? Was publishing a book like you imagined it would be? Harder? Easier? What or who helped you launch the books? Any advice for aspiring writers? Lessons learned?
I completely make them up as a I go. I must be original, which is hard to do with hundreds of millions of books and television shows. But it’s the combination of plots and characters that make it more interesting. Girls search for their father every day. Girls struggle with their sexuality every day. Girls can’t decide what to be when they grow up all the time. But put that all in 1 person, and show it from the emotional perspective, you’ve got a unique character. Brianna may or may not solve all 3 things. But she will learn from it. And that’s what makes it something interesting. Girls sometimes don’t know who the father is of their child. Girls are sometimes abused. Girls are sometimes searching for love in the wrong place. Girls often search for a man just like their father. Put it all together and show it from the impact of the actions, not just deciding what to do, and you’ve got a more well-rounded character like Amalia.
I’ve always believed if you have a bad character, but a good plot, you can make it work. But if you have a bad plot, you can’t make just a good character work in a book. People will not read something boring… so sort that out in the beginning, know why someone may NOT like your story, and then be sure to cover all the bases so you can defend what you’ve chosen to do. Not everyone will love it, but you will believe it’s the right story and that’s what matters in the end for me. I’m not trying to get rich or be famous. I’m telling the story of characters who mean something to me.
Come back tomorrow for the last part!
Thanks for reading!