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Plotting the perfect crime novel

Pauline Rowson, crime authorI'm often asked how I go about plotting a crime novel. So here's my take on how I plot my crime novels.

When starting a fresh crime novel I have the basic idea in mind. I will start to flesh this out using spider grams and time lines to work up the basic plot lines and character outlines, working in pencil on recycled pieces of A4 paper.

Often I will create some characters who won’t appear in the novel at all because by the time I start to write the first draft they might no longer be relevant.

At this stage I don’t know how the novel will end or who the villain is, this will only become apparent as I write. I conduct some research, which in turn will spark even more ideas about the plot and subplots and provide me with further ideas for characters.

I like to start the creative writing process as soon as possible, knowing that the first couple of chapters will change drastically by the time I come to do revisions. But until I start writing and putting words into the characters mouths and have them acting and reacting they don’t come alive. I then research further as I write.

On average I spend about a week, maybe two, working on the outlines before I start writing. It usually takes me between six to nine months to write a crime novel.

There are lots more articles on writing a crime novel here on my website

I am the author of twenty one crime novels - fifteen featuring the rugged and flawed Portsmouth detective, Inspector Andy Horton; three in the mystery thriller series featuring Art Marvik, the troubled former Royal Marine Commando now an undercover investigator for the UK's National Intelligence Marine Squad; two standalone thrillers, the award winning, IN COLD DAYLIGHT and IN FOR THE KILL and the 1950 set crime novel DEATH IN THE COVE introducing Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Alun Ryga.

The DI Andy Horton novels in order

DI Andy Horton Mystery (15) to be published in June 2020

A Deadly Wake a DI Andy Horton Mystery A DEADLY WAKE, is to be published in June 2020 in paperback and e book. It is number fifteen in the series and the rugged and flawed Portsmouth detective has a new mystery to solve which ultimately leads him to discovering the truth behind his mother's disappearance over thirty years ago.

Death in the Cove, an Inspector Alun Ryga 1950 crime novelDEATH IN THE COVE Introducing Inspector Alun Ryga of Scotland Yard

England 1950, a country still struggling to come to terms with peace in the grip of austerity and rationing.

When the body of a man wearing a pinstriped suit is found in a secluded bay on Portland Island, Dorset Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Alun Ryga is sent to investigate.

'Death in the Cove is a great read and one I recommend to any crime fans.' BH Living Magazine

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APRIL 18TH, 2020 @ 7:25:13 UTC

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