I recently finished the revision of my first novel and hope to send it back to the editor next month. But the second novel is in a bad shape, I think. I read about two thirds of it this evening and found I didn’t want to continue reading – a very bad sign for a writer.
The story, a psychological thriller set in the UK, addresses what happens when two adults meet for the first time in twenty-five years. As children, both characters ran from a murder. The central character, a web designer recently separated from his American wife, has no recollection of the events in his past. As he renews his friendship with his childhood friend, flashbacks of the murder return to haunt him, leading to confusion and danger.
Sounds like a good story, so what has gone wrong? Too much cut and pasting scenes, I think. The potential for truly spine chilling drama is never really developed, although a couple of the scenes scared me a bit. Attempts to improve on some of the previous drafts have had the opposite effect and interrupted the original flow of the story, causing it to become disjointed. Neither the present nor the past is ever really developed. Nor is any viewpoint – a serious sign.
Maybe I’m judging the manuscript too harshly, but I plan to work on the novel away from the main computer file, concentrating on scenes rather than chapters. I still think the overall story and plot could work. Like before, I will use the open source free novel writing software, Storybook.