I’m midway through my second novel, a psychological thriller. My main character Alan, a former tough guy who used to play rugby and football, has recently moved back to the north of England following the break up of his marriage and has got in touch with a former childhood friend.
Alan witnessed a murder when he was ten, but has no recollection of the event. A series of disturbances at his new home, a flat in a converted old factory in the countryside, prompt Alan to investigate the murder, but each move he makes results in further confusion.
For instance, Alan meets a an elderly woman who played a significant role in his childhood, but he doesn’t remember the woman at all. However, he recognises her post retirement house, even though he has never visited the house. Further, the interior seems strikingly familiar to Alan, reminding him of a house he only just remembers: the murderer’s.
In tackling the matter, I hope to look deep within Alan’s mind – in particular, why certain seemingly insignificant things unsettle him so much, such as a vase in the wrong house. I feel that the brief memory flashbacks in the story must capture Alan’s uncertainty and hint at the reasons for Alan’s fear, drawing on specific details that strike true fear in Alan’s heart. This will mean cutting old redundant material and going deeper into Alan’s character.
Demanding, to be sure, but I’m managing about four to six hours a day of writing.