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  1. LinnRandom's Avatar
    Reading: Wking on Black Waters
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    #1

    revision Plot the Mystery & Romantic Suspense

    I was watching the being of the television show Castle one night, and the main character said to the audience, there are two types of people to think of murder all the time, one is a serial killer and the other is a mystery writer.

    I laughed, that is definitely a very true statement. Murder and mystery are on my mind all the time. And when I’m not thinking or writing about mystery, I’ll relax with my TV shows or a good book about the same thing.

    If you are like most authors coming up with the idea is the least of your worries. They are everywhere! Need an idea, pick up a newspaper.

    They can come from a bit of overheard conversation, idle moments on a beautiful beach, torn from the headlines, or quiet moments just before sleep maybe even a dream. It can come from an image of a particular character or a concept of a plot.

    Once the idea comes to you, it will take hold, and grow. Like a mustard seed your idea must be cultured, developed, researched and worked out. You can do this in your Plot Book-write the idea down.

    Sometimes especially in its infant stages, it’s best not to speak too much of a book idea because you will become emotionally spent and the work is never completed.

    One of my favorite personal mottos is plan the work and work the plan.

    You can do this in your Plot Book.

    Let’s start with the idea. Now you plan it out chapter by chapter, scene by scene. In your Plot Book take the pages after your characters and write down your novel’s turning points.

    Whatever you call it, its cause and effect. Action and reaction. Goal and effect. Its what will take you from page one of your novel to the end.

    So, in the next pages of your novel you want to write down your book’s turning points right up to the climax.

    By the way, it takes me about 3 to 6 months of working on my Plot Book before I begin the actual writing of the novel. Right now I am finishing upmy work in progress- Black Waters; I began my Plot Book for Cold River Murders about a month ago.

    It doesn’t have to be written in one setting, take your time; you have a lot of clues and red herrings to bury within your pages.

    In Pirates in Paradise, the concept came to me many years ago. The idea was force a good twin to pretend to be her twin sister. In my original concept, I thought this book would make a great comedy; it turned out to be one of my top selling romantic suspense novels.

    I had my bookish twin, Haley be forced into assuming the role of her twin sister, the flamboyant South Beach Party girl who was involved with the leader of a drug cartel.

    The scene that follows is in the prologue and sets up the action of The Plot

    Tears glistened on Jenna’s perfect, heart shaped face. “Haley, I’m in so much trouble.”

    “Is it Ricky?” Haley asked between sobs. She had met Jenna’s boyfriend only once.

    “Yes. No.” Jenna’s voice cracked. She sat up and wiped her face before looking at Haley, her expression desperate. “Look, I need you to be me for a couple of days. Just until I can get a few things straightened out.”

    Haley stared at her sister. “You can’t be serious! We aren’t kids anymore. We can’t just trade places. What’s going on? Honey, whatever it is, I’m sure we can figure something out.”

    “It’s best you don’t know.” Jenna sobbed. Tears blinded her eyes and chocked her voice. “Look, I’ve made arrangements. You’ll be perfectly safe. Haley, please, I really need you to be me for just a few days.”

    First Turning Point
    Jenna escapes out the back of a hotel room, leaving Haley to be taken by the US Marshals. Amongst other things that happen at the end of Chapter 1, the safe house where Haley is staying at comes under attack by the cartel. Haley and one of the agents make a daring escape on Florida’s intercostal waterway.

    Second Turning Point
    Without doubt someone in the Feds gave away the Safe House. The Marshal who helped Haley get away is injured. There is no one to trust except for Jack Morgan who is in the witness protection agency. The marshal calls Jack, and Jack the hero comes in to grudgingly offer support.

    Third Turning Point
    After several days in the Florida Everglades with Jack, Jack begins to suspect, Haley is not Jenna the party girl that the Cartel and now Feds are looking for. At the end of this scenario, two thugs break into Jack’s house and hold Jack and Haley at gunpoint. Without giving away how they get away, Jack and Haley escape into the ‘Glades on Jack’s airboat.

    Fourth Turning Point
    Jack borrows a truck and Haley and Jack make their way into the Florida Keys. Jenna as last calls Haley and asks them to rendezvous with her in Key West.

    Fifth Turning Point
    At the rendezvous point, thugs from the Cartel get into a gun battle with the FBI and Marshals. Again, Jack and Haley escape.

    Sixth Turning Point
    Jack and Haley make their way back to Miami and while out getting breakfast for Jack, Haley is at last abducted by the Cartel. Jack sees this and tries to follow her abductors through the streets of Miami.

    Final Turning Point
    Haley is taken to the Bahamas to retrieve some Bearer Bonds, Jenna stole from the Cartel.

    The Climax
    Jack has borrowed a boat and also in the Bahamas. The following is the scene leading to the final turning point or Climax.

    Pirates in Paradise

    Passing the lobby, Haley noticed two couples waiting, one old, one young and a man with a newspaper seated on the elegant white sofas.

    As they passed the man seated on a sofa who was reading a newspaper, he dropped the paper beside him. Rising, he stepped in front of Ricky and Haley blocking their path.
    “Take the money,” Jack Morgan said evenly to Ricky Rojas. “Leave the girl.”

    Okay, I’m not going to give away more but Pirates in Paradise has been accepted by a movie studio so I won’t take away the fun of the movie, or how this all works out for Haley and Jack.

    In Your Plot Book, you have your characters, your setting, and now take a couple of pages to write out the following:

    The First Turning Point_____________________________________________ ____
    The Second Turning Point_____________________________________________ __
    The Third Turning Point_____________________________________________ _____
    The Final Turning Point_____________________________________________ ______
    The Climax____________________________________________ _________________
    The Conclusion________________________________________ _________________

    You will notice I have several turning points; plan at least three turning points or sequences which happen causing reactions by the characters all working the mystery toward your book’s climax.

    There are many subplots in Pirates in Paradise. Jack’s relationship with Haley and Jenna’s relationship with Ricky the head of the Cartel. The stolen bearer bonds and Jack’s struggle with himself and his situation. Jenna has two subplots. Haley changes on this journey. She grows from a quiet little clerk in a bookstore to a resourceful heroine who has to use her wits if she and Jenna are to survive. Jack also changes. He grows from an embittered, lonely man to a man who not only finds love but a future he longs for.

    Whether you outline or follow the Turning Points as previously mentioned, you want as you lay out your action, you are making yourself a roadmap to follow.

    A quick word and a very important word about my favorite book on plotting. I have had the privilege of attending several classes, lectures and all day seminars’ with Debra Dixon. I cannot stress enough it you have one book in your library on writing, I urge you to buy Goal, Motivation. Conflict. It is in my professional opinion the best book on developing character motivation, conflicts and goals. I totally recommend this well written book for you. And if Debra Dixon is at any conferences near you, please do yourself a favor and make sure you to attend. This book will go into more in-depth plotting can I can here. It’s truly wonderful and a must have for your library. Again the book is Goal, Motivation & Conflict, by author Debra Dixon Publisher: Gryphon Books for Writers, ISBN 0-9654371-0-8

    Lastly, you will notice, I have only listed four Turning Points here. Have as many as you like. There in my opinion is no set rule in this but I think most books will offer at least three.

    So, plan your twists and turns. Tomorrow we are going to explore how to refine your plotline by using the High Concept and then on to subplots and more about setting on Friday.

    For those of you who would like to share your turning points, please feel free to post! I look forward to reading all of them.

    Pirates in Paradise and all my books are available here at Coffeetime Romance. For full chapter reads, character interviews, reviews, and more visit my website.

    See you online, at Coffeetime! Linn
    Linn Random
    www.LinnRandom.com

    Top Selling Author - Mystery, Suspense, Intrigue
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  2. CharmedGirl's Avatar
    Reading: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
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    #2

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    OMG I love the show Castle. It's my favourite show at the moment. I have the first two series on DVD and am always eager to watch the next episode of the new season whenever it's aired on TV.

    As for the roadmap, I did that for the work in progress I'm writing, and it was coming along nicely, but recently I've hit a bit of a road block. I don't know why, but I'm definitely going to try writing again tomorrow after work.

    ___________________________
    BEC
  3. LinnRandom's Avatar
    Reading: Wking on Black Waters
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    I loved the advise I recieved from Bob Morris who wrote Bahamara; he said when he got writers block about a scene, he would walk. Someone asked him, what if you don't solve the issue. He said I'll walk some more.

    And this is why a Plot Book is so vital for the mystery-suspense author and writer. You work all all the kinks and twists before you begin the actual writing of it.

    So my advice now is........let your characters be your guide. They will take over anyway at some point and do something that is contrary to your vision. Whatever comes to mind, go ahead and write it.........give your characters free range for three to four pages and see what happens. You as author can always hit the delete button and try again.

    Good luck, its a challenge, I know you will win! Linn
    Linn Random
    www.LinnRandom.com

    Top Selling Author - Mystery, Suspense, Intrigue
    Pirates in Paradise, Lights, Camera. Murder!
    Your Cheatin Hearts, Haunted Hearts,
    Driving Book Sales - E-Books, Kindle, Print
    Visit www.LinnRandom.com
  4. LinnRandom's Avatar
    Reading: Wking on Black Waters
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    #4

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    Julie, I get a lot of ideas for books ....and when an idea comes to me.

    I will put it down in a plot book of its own to be developed later.....that way the ideas don't keep screaming at me.!

    At one time I think I had seven Plot Books in various stages of developments. That way as I said, you don't loose any ideas!
    Linn Random
    www.LinnRandom.com

    Top Selling Author - Mystery, Suspense, Intrigue
    Pirates in Paradise, Lights, Camera. Murder!
    Your Cheatin Hearts, Haunted Hearts,
    Driving Book Sales - E-Books, Kindle, Print
    Visit www.LinnRandom.com
  5. rebelheart's Avatar
    Reading: Superstition's Desire by Lisa Campbell
    Just Finished Reading: The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy
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    rebelheart is offline
    #5

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    Thanks so much, Linn. I think I'm going to put your Plot Book outlines on separate pages in Word and then print them as a little book.
    Julie
  6. rebelheart's Avatar
    Reading: Superstition's Desire by Lisa Campbell
    Just Finished Reading: The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy
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    rebelheart is offline
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    BTW, I just took advantage of the seminar special on your book and look forward to gleaning any other bits of advice.
    Julie
  7. LinnRandom's Avatar
    Reading: Wking on Black Waters
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    Julie, first thank you for buying Driving Book Sales! The last week of the class, I'll be posting five chapters of the 26 chapter book. It will be a great time for anymore intersted in learning how to market their book online and off! Thank you so much!!!

    RE The Plot Book, that is exactly what the Plot Book is for, to print out and develop your own book, so bravo!!!!!!!!! Again, thanks, Linn
    Linn Random
    www.LinnRandom.com

    Top Selling Author - Mystery, Suspense, Intrigue
    Pirates in Paradise, Lights, Camera. Murder!
    Your Cheatin Hearts, Haunted Hearts,
    Driving Book Sales - E-Books, Kindle, Print
    Visit www.LinnRandom.com
  8. Telly423's Avatar
    Reading: Rex Stout's The Golden Spiders
    Just Finished Reading: Swimming Lessons by Dahlia DeWinters
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    Using the plot book helped me hook some preliminary research I did to a current WIP in progress I was going to use a bank robbery as the primary conflict, but decided, an underground mine is much better, along with a wedding that might not happen if the groom can't be found...
  9. Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Hi Telly,
    I think you made a wise choice. An underground mine has a much more sinister/intriguing/alien feel to it than bank robbery. And a missing groom gets the heart racing before I even open your book. You'd have me filled with tension and anticipation, following you through thse tunnels in the dark hoping to come up with answers about the missing groom. I'm excited already.
    Rusty
  10. Telly423's Avatar
    Reading: Rex Stout's The Golden Spiders
    Just Finished Reading: Swimming Lessons by Dahlia DeWinters
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    Telly423 is offline
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    Thanks,

    That's the great thing about a WIP, you can change it around as much as necessary. Once I got to thinking about the plot, I couldn't put a new twist on the bank robbery, but caves...my imagination was working overtime.
    Glad you like the idea, I'll let you know when it's a reality.
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