Clammy, sticky weather, and I’m ploughing on with the novel, making the changes needed to strengthen the story. A psychological thriller. It’s hard. A fresh twist in the plot increase the tension, but often at a cost, as each alteration affects the rest of the story and errors creep in, usually unnoticed.
I’ve also observed that ruthlessly cutting superfluous sentences – for instance, 100 words here, 50 words there – will tighten the prose, but might result in the loss of the writer’s unique voice. The story may take on a racy-pace, but lack originality.
For me, psychological thrillers must create an atmosphere (preferably portrayed through a first person narrative) that the reader relates to, even if their own experience differs from that of the main character. The atmosphere determines the plot, I believe, although this runs counter to the general advice that plot should be character-led. Perhaps there is room for both then – atmosphere and character actions?
Let’s hope so.
In the meantime, I have another fifty-five thousands words to deal with.