Yesterday I completed the first draft of a new novel. It is always amazing to me when this happens. This is because I do not outline my novels, a serious mistake according to many writing professionals. I do agree that if you can create an outline first, you will probably save yourself both grief and time.
But that isn’t how fiction works for me. Though I may have some idea of the characters and events I want to incorporate, most of the time I am walking on a tightrope without a net below. If I am not constantly surprised at where the story is going, how can readers be?
This new novel was a special challenge because it started from a single wild idea: what would happen if you woke up one day and found a dead body floating in your backyard swimming pool?