On Thursday 16th March 2017, the Borders Writers’ Forum was fortunate to have a ‘masterclass’ on plotting with local crime fiction writer, Janet O’Kane. Janet discussed the importance of ‘hooking’ the reader in the first few sentences by creating questions – the who, why what when and how? She likes to have secrets in her writing as they lead to conflict. Plot is also vital in crime fiction as is character and Janet ensures all her characters have jobs to do, working to drive the plot forward with credibility. The motive has to be convincing and in keeping with the situation.
Janet admitted she writes by the ‘seat of her pants’ and describes writing books like driving in the dark – only a illuminating enough road at a time. She uses strand sheets to keep herself on track with the various sub plots and showed examples of these to the group.
At the beginning of the evening Hayley Emberey interviewed Forum member – Dr Oliver Eade, which was a fascinating insight into his motivation, achievements and his many varied published books.