Diary of a Novel: the suspects

The intention was to take The Beast Within away with us on our recent holiday and do some work here and there … Unfortunately, we were so busy enjoying ourselves that the story was completely neglected. Fortunately, before we went away, I did some extensive work on my suspects.

The first of my suspects was always going to be the first of my suspects. But I always knew that this person was innocent. Because s/he also appears in Catch the Rainbow, this character was already very familiar to me, and I didn’t learn anything new about him/her.

My second suspect was brand new (as a suspect). S/he was an existing character, but having studied Volume Two of Writing the Killer Mystery by Ron D Voigts, Captivating Characters, I discovered that this character had enjoyed a previous relationship with the killer and was, therefore, also a suspect. This new back story was really interesting to work on.

My third and final (for now!) suspect was originally my killer. But once I started to explore the people in the novel, I decided that this person was too obvious. S/he still merited being on the list of suspects, though. Because this person had always been the killer, until now, s/he was also very familiar to me, but I did give him/her a couple of new incidents in his/her back story.

For all of my suspects I added two new categories to complete that aren’t included in the Voigts blueprint: 1. Reason s/he’s a suspect; and 2. Why it isn’t him/her. These just helped me to focus a little more.

I had a lot of fun creating the profiles for these three suspects, and I feel the book will benefit by some meatier characters. I wrote 862 words on this section, bringing my running total to 2,955 words.

This coming week, when I can I’m working on a few other characters – “special” characters: the sidekick, the opponent and the supporter.