There’s at least one in every book. That moment when the plot is cruising along pretty well and I have a fairly decent idea of where it’s going and how it’s all going to turn out…and then suddenly… Aha!
It never occurs while I’m actually writing. Generally, I’m driving somewhere, or standing in the kitchen, or honestly, doing just about anything else, when suddenly my mind fills with a devious thought. What if… What if a character isn’t really the person he or she has been portrayed to this point? What if a circumstance isn’t what it looked like or a character takes an unexpected path? These thoughts light me up like nothing else can.
For those who haven’t yet read all or any of the books, I won’t be giving away any “Ahas” here, but some generalities can’t hurt, right?
Probably the biggest “Aha” moment in the series played out toward the end of Book 3–the last book in the pilot for the series. The moment came earlier than the writing of Book 3, however. It required some setup, and my decision to go forward with it came in Book 2. I literally paced the floor when the concept occurred to me, smiling like the Cheshire Cat and going back and forth with whether I should do it. In the end, I convinced myself it was just too wonderfully devious not to follow through. For further discussion on all that went through my head when this plot twist first poked out its wonderfully roguish head, please email or message me. I’d love to talk to readers about the specifics!
As I said, all the books had at least one major “Aha” moment. Book 4 probably had the most. Book 4 was just one big con after another!
Which brings me to my method of writing. Because I write about a thief who is also a con artist, my writing style is in the “con” mode. Many times the story will go forward only to come back to a certain point where something occurred that the reader wasn’t aware of … yet. Filling in the places where Gregg foresaw complications or actually set up marks always has to be done after what looks like a failure. Otherwise, there’s no buildup, no suspense…and where’s the fun in that? Again, all the books, except maybe the first one, have a point of flashback where the reader finds out how Gregg and/or the SIRU planned for the outcome. This type of writing is prevalent in con-type TV shows such as Leverage.
These “Aha” moments are what make writing so much fun, and hopefully, what makes it fun for the reader as well. A couple of things I can tell you about me, however, might help if you’re tempted to throw a book down because all looks lost.
- I like my heroes bigger than life and better at what they do than anyone else in the world. Therefore, THEY WILL NOT FAIL.
- I personally want to be entertained when I read or watch a TV show or movie, not crushed. I hate when a writer feels the necessity to “make it realistic.” Why? I don’t want realism when I retreat to my “happy place.” I want everything to come out great, and all my heroes to be phenomenal–not necessarily realistic. You don’t ever have to worry about me crushing your soul because, well…let’s face it, it’s more realistic. Bull crap. If I want realism, I’ll watch the news.
I had a good laugh with one of Gregg’s fans shortly after I published Book 6. She was really ticked, but later, after we talked, she admitted she’d been set up in a previous series where a main character was killed off. She thought I might be doing something similar, so she quit reading the book. Later, she decided before she contacted me–specifically to give me a piece of her mind–she probably should finish reading it. So glad to report, her opinion changed. She gloriously gave me the best review I’ve ever had. There were a couple of wonderful “Aha” moments in Book 6.
If you’ve read any or all of the books, and would like to talk about my “Aha” moments, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It’s difficult to do here, because it requires you having your own blog, but you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on FB: facebook.com/devereauxja.
I was starting to think I had dried up, that there wasn’t going to be an “Aha” moment in Book 7. I was wrong!
Keep your eye out for REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF <7> Always a Thief – coming Spring 2018.