“The best crime novels are all based on people keeping secrets. All lying – you may think a lie is harmless, but you put them all together and there’s a calamity.”

-Alafair Burke

A Lesson in Organic Writing by Steven James

Have you ever tried to write a thriller organically?

I’ve been mulling over mine for quite a bit now and I can never figure out how to keep the plot moving and fresh.

Reading this article by Steven James has been an eye-opener. He uses only these four questions, when he feels he gets stuck on the plot:

  1. “What would this character naturally do?”
  2. “How can I make things worse?”
  3. “How can I include a twist?”
  4. “What promises have I made as a writer that I have not yet kept?”

And somehow they lead to new plot points, new ideas that can be developed further as the novel progresses.

If you want to read more about writing organically, follow the link to the article, where Steven James explains how he used his questions to write his own novel, Every Deadly Kiss.

https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2017/07/a-lesson-in-organic-writing

“Good writers know that crime is an entre into telling a greater story about character. Good crime writing holds up a mirror to the readers and reflects in a darker light the world in which they live.”

-Karin Slaughter

“They don’t have a lot of crime in the countryside other than theft. But every once in a while, things turn ugly, and when they turn ugly, they turn very ugly.”

-John Sandford