Plotting My Next Thriller

Promised my agent I would have my manuscript for my next novel ready by summer 2017. NAKED TRUTH is getting there. The plot, about the death of a Supreme Court justice, is three quarters complete. Good beginning, Great ending (I think it’s better than NAKED AMBITION), but still working on some twists in the middle.

The middle of a novel is key. That, according to the experts, is where a lot of novels go to die. It’s the bridge between a great start and a shocking ending (well, at least in my case). My secret weapon is my daughter Jill. She and I work on plot twists together. I’m a plotter, not a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of his pants). That’s because I love putting as many twists and turns into my plot as humanly possible. That takes a fair amount of planning.

Once I complete the plot (which for me is my first draft–now at 150 pages), then I’m off and running on the rewrite. I’m weird in that way. I LOVE to rewrite. Most writers I know hate that part of writing. But this is where I dissect every sentence and try to make it sing. And since I have a completed plot, I know where I’m going. Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t make plot changes during rewrite. I make plenty of those.

I’m also working on my anthology of  famous thriller writers. I’m explaining the struggles they went through to get their first novel published. Everybody does it a different way and surprisingly, most take years and years to get there. Unless, that is, your name is Lee Child. I spent more than an hour interviewing him recently and learned how quickly his first novel was accepted and published. And it made money! Every writers dream.

Lee is  one of the nicest writers out there. This weekend, Tom Cruise’s new Jack Reacher movie opened about his main character, and that will sell a lot more of Lee’s book. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.