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The perfect system for planning, researching, plotting and writing a crime novel

The Portsmouth Murders, DI Andy Horton Solent Murder Mystery by Pauline RowsonAll writers have different ways of working and finding the ‘perfect system’ for planning, researching, plotting, structuring and writing a novel is often a matter of trial and error until something clicks. That’s how it was for me anyway.

Before I struck on my 'perfect system' I tried all sorts of ways of compiling my research, plot lines, and character outlines, from using note books to wall maps, from card indexes to ring binders. None of them worked. The ring binders looked nice and neat, all properly indexed, but because of my civil service training my mind told me that something in a file, was 'filed away,' and therefore actioned, finished with and a novel is a work in progress.

Notebooks worked for a while but I got tired of flicking through various pages trying to find the precise piece of information I needed, when I needed it. And they weren't much use for containing the research pulled off the Internet, and from other sources. Wall maps were soon a no,no. They looked messy and very rapidly got covered with notes pinned all over them. So what next?

I'm not really sure how I evolved my current system of working but gradually it came together so that now all my plot lines and character outlines are executed in pencil on recycled bits of paper. Each plot line and character details are held together by a separate Treasury Tag. The individual characters have their names flagged up at the top in a coloured sticker, so that I can grab the right character in an instant (well almost).

The research from various sources is then tacked on to that character or plot line, and all this resides on my desk until the novel is written.

Close by is a two tier table and the lower tier contains a number of trays all labelled. There are trays with details of the DI Andy Horton crime novel, number sixteen in the series, and of my crime novels set in 1950s Britain which features a thoughtful Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Ryga.

There is also a tray labelled ideas and characters. Along with all this information there is a tray that contains, maps, tide timetables, charts, police procedural notes and forensic research notes. I also have two ring binders full of forensic information and that on autopsies.

And as to the actual writing tool? That is straight on to the computer for me.

Pauline Rowson's gripping, entertaining crime novels full of twists and turns

Pauline Rowson's crime novels
If you enjoy reading gripping, fast-paced crime novels full of twists and turns, compelling and multi-layered with great characters and stories that keep you guessing right to the end then Pauline Rowson's crime novels are right up your street. 

Set against the back drop of the ever changing sea on the South Coast of England.

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OCTOBER 19TH, 2018 @ 6:13:07 BST

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