Susan Grossey

Secrets and suspense

Last night I asked my husband whether he wanted to know about a particular plot point that I had worked out in “Plank 2”, and he said no, that he wanted to wait and read the full first draft.  I know it’s not a particularly revelatory comment, but it’s jolly lonely being a writer.  And actually quite difficult, because you need to split your mind in two: you need to be both writer and reader.

Let me try and make more sense.  I am writing a crime novel – set in 1825, granted, and focussing on financial crime, but a crime novel at its heart.  And such a novel demands secrets and suspense.  The trouble is, I know all the secrets, and the suspense is self-generated – a bit like trying to jump out on yourself, which isn’t scary at all.  So I have to look at what I have written, and try to imagine reading it for the first time – I have to try and forget what I know, and pretend that the story is being revealed to me piecemeal.  And that’s surprisingly hard to do.  (And it means that I will be relying heavily on my lovely test readers – Roy, I’m looking at you with big, pleading eyes, if you can bear it again…)


  1. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    Haha! Why am I reminded of Mr Bean posting himself a Christmas card and then being excited about opening it? Love to help – can’t wait to see what Plank does next.

  2. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    Roy, you are an absolute angel – thank you so much. I will definitely be in touch again soon, with a first draft.

  3. Withdrawal symptoms | Susan Grossey

    […] and read them objectively (and such objectivity is particularly crucial when writing a mystery, as I discussed a few days ago), so I must be strong and resist the urge to start chatting to Sam […]

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