Thursday, October 26, 2006

When Plots...And Genre Go Awry

I conceived the idea for Apparitions during one of my stints of interest in serial killers. At the time I was also (and still am) intensely interested in the phenomenon of ghosts and their supernatural links to our realm. Another area of interest is how some people are sensitive to the presence of ghosts and others seem unable to even consider their existence.

That said, my main character Bailey Khane was born of these branches of interest. She is able to sense and communicate with the ghosts of the serial killer's victims.

Now I had my main character, Bailey, and my serial killer. More than enough to start with I thought. I proceeded to outline a straight suspense / thriller novel and then got to work on it. Honestly, there was all intent on keeping it that way. Unfortunately the muses that be vetoed my original concept roughly…oh a quarter of the way through the first draft.

I was shocked.

As if abundant ghosts and a rampant serial killer were not enough…my precious, pure suspense thriller had somehow become creepier and darker than I intended. At that time it mutated into a cross genre of horror/suspense.

It was at that time too that my plot came to a jarring halt. Bailey wasn't acting Baileyish and I was stumped. I had wanted a pure genre and well…what I had was not that.

What is an author to do at that point? When their entire plot outline is rendered useless in one dramatic twist? Well, there are as many answers to that as there are authors. In my next post I'll tell you what this author did and why.

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