Lots of people ask me how I come up with the crazy ideas I do for my suspense stories. After all, I’ve never been chased down streets, kidnapped, held for ransom, shot at, or any of the other things that happen to my characters.
I usually smile, shrug my shoulders, and say I have no idea. But today, I’m going to share my secret. My secret is….I have a co-writer. You won’t see his name on the cover of my books, but I do give Him credit and all the glory.
GOD is my co-writer.
He’s my source for creativity. When my story comes to a screeching halt, I turn to my co-writer for inspiration and help. Here’s a recent example: My editor returned a manuscript I’d submitted for consideration with a polite no thank you along with several reasons.
Exasperation. Disappointment. Frustration. And whatever other negative emotions you can think of oozed through my veins. I love this story (of course, I love all my stories) and want others to have the chance to read it.
Deep down, I knew she was right. There were two main issues with the story. The way I’ve written it, it reads half like women’s fiction and the other half suspense. But suspense needs to be all suspense—not half.
All I have to do is start deleting all those wonderful words I’d written. Easy fix but difficult to actually do. After all, I wrote those wonderful words. Difficult not impossible.
The other issue—too many coincidences to bring all the characters together. A coincidence to bring the main character to the two police officers. A coincidence for the killer to learn the identity of the witness.
Not so easy to fix. Coincidences may be awesome in life, but a big no-no when it comes to writing.
But what’s a writer to do? I love the story and don’t want to see it go to that big story junkyard littered with so many writers’ broken hopes and dreams.
I sat down and tried to change things, but it wasn’t happening. The coincidences remained and the story stayed stuck. So…I turned to my co-writer. And as usual, He had the answers!
Change the location where the body’s found came the answer. Mmm. I thought about it. If the body was found in the alley and not on the highway, then it would take care of how the main character meets up with the detectives…and it would take care of how the bad guy finds the main character-the only witness to the murder.
I just love my co-writer.
God Bless and Good Reading. LIL