This is a sign we came across in Sri Lanka. It’s certainly affected our plan to go for a swim just there.
Planning is hugely important. People can work differently, but I know where my story is going before I even start page one. Planning is mostly about the plot and for a thriller plot it is hugely important. You have to know who goes where and why, you have to know what happens and it all has to work. I can’t stand movies with huge holes in their plot – where someone miraculously turns up to save the day for no particular reason. It’s entirely up to the writer to make the story work, and if it doesn’t they you have to change something to make sure it does.
Because I’m writing a historical thriller I have to make sure it ties pretty closely with history and I have to research that. I love creating a story where it is very hard to guess what is true and what is made up. You have to tie everything in, and when you really start to know your subject it’s amazing how you find places and events that fit with your plot.
I was searching for an historic church in England that a woodturner was going to return to. I found a list of ancient churches and the second one I looked at happened to be the oldest wooden church in the world with an unnamed Crusader grave at its doorstep. It was perfect and because it was wooden I could also have my woodturner making something that was part of the structure and is still there now. It made my day.
Planning is challenging, but its often where you create the twists and turns and I think its the aspect of writing that is the most fun.