Diary of a Novel: the victim

Details of the victim have been percolating in the back of my mind this week, while I did other stuff.

When I finally came to sit down and write the ideas up, I was surprised at how much I’d learnt about her.

(I’m not throwing out any spoilers, remember. This will be on the book blurb.)

The first reason for her death isn’t the one I ended up with. I explored her story and decided it was even a different killer to the one I originally came up with. So that’s taken the story in a different direction and given it more depth – I hope.

I’m also hoping this is good news in the long run, as the first killer might have been the most obvious.

Now I think I need to change her name as well, as I may have borrowed the odd true elements here and there, if she ever told me the truth, but I’ve taken some from different sources and memories as well.

I often think of someone in real life to base a character on, if only for their looks, and for the initial stages I use their real first name too. Sometimes their real full name.

In this instance I’ve added those few stories from elsewhere, and discarded a major storyline that may have identified the “victim” immediately. I can save that for another character in another book …

What I can say at this stage is that, so far, I haven’t based anyone in this story on anyone who has asked me to include them in a story in the future (yes, they really have). But I am having fun getting my own back – at this stage – on the odd person or two who may have upset me in the past.

So, I gave my victim a history, a secret or two and a back story. I dipped in here and there for fodder and mixed it up a bit. I’ve changed her appearance and physique.

I’ve changed her birthplace and her age, given her a new accent and dialect, and a totally different occupation.

At the moment her name fits in with the name I gave to the exotic dance troupe. I may have to change that too, but at least it’s something to work with.

I’m now really itching to be writing more about my victim. I want to write a longer life story for her, explore how she came to end up a murder victim in a Birmingham nightclub.

I want to “hear” how she speaks and smell her perfume. And I want to find an image of her somewhere, so I can write about her with confidence, knowing how she looks.

She has two pages of notes in my story bible, and I wrote 339 words, bringing the running total so far to 1,800.

Next up, the killer. But two other suspects may also be included in this. For now.

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