I always enjoyed mysteries, thrillers and suspense but I was told to write this genre you had to be very good at plotting. Hmmm. Plotting means outline, directions, timelines. Yeah, um, no. I don't do that. I tried it once and was so bored with the story by the time I did all the things you are supposed to do to be a plotter--scene outlines, chapter outlines, post-it notes, color coded plot points--that I never wrote the book. And so, sadly I thought I could never write a mystery/thriller.
Still I had this idea and these characters that would not go away. Someone said to me, write it. What do you have to lose? So, I did. I wrote it my way. I set off at the beginning with a general idea of where I was going and didn't even figure out who the bad guy was until the end. It was fun for me. Now the scary part- let someone else read it and have to listen to them tell me how poorly plotted it was-because well, it was. I didn't write a single outline or use even a tiny post-it. What came next was interesting. "Tightly plotted," they said. "I had no idea who did it until the end-then went back and saw all the clues." That book was Mr. Charming. So I thought, okay, let's fool them again. So, I wrote Dream Man and got, "Crazy how you weave all the bits together, leaving nothing to dangle." "A roller coaster ride of suspense." Hmmm, maybe just maybe I can write mystery suspense without all those graphs and charts and outlines.
The point in this story is: don't let what other people say is "the way" to do things discourage you from trying something. Yes, yes, most people save a lot of time and energy if they plot or outline. blah, blah, blah. But if it just doesn't work for you, don't let that keep you from writing the story you are supposed to tell. Every single one of us is different. There is room to try it your way. And if that doesn't work, you can always try something else. That's the puzzle part of writing-trying out new ways of doing things and seeing if they fit. Then discarding those that don't and moving on. The key is to not get discouraged if it doesn't work for you. Embrace your own true nature and above all-have fun!