Today I am delighted to be on the Dead Lands blog tour. Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis was published on the 12th of October and available to purchase from Amazon. For my stop I have a really interesting guest post from the author to share with you but first here’s a bit more about the book.
When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alex Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen.
When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge – and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy.
Lloyd Otis brings a startling account of the past back to life over a burgeoning ’70s landscape, and delivers a thrilling piece of crime fiction that will excite any fan of the genre.
Dead Lands: choose the writing process that works for you
In terms of creating the story – everyone’s process can start at different stages but I tend to give a lot of thought to the plot from the outset, and the type of characters I’ll be using. I ask myself the question, can it work this way, does it work that way? Admittedly, this can take some time as this will be the backbone of everything, but I don’t mind asking those questions.
Does crime fiction work well with a plot? Of course it does. So a good plot and strong characters will serve most writers well. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start but the best thing to do is to map out your idea and locate the parts that work and the parts that don’t. If it looks as if it’s all spiralling out of control, reign it back in. Then start again. You need to know where your story is going at all times – even when you think you don’t, because if you get lost, so will the reader.
The actual writing
When we think of writing now, most of us really mean typing don’t we? We’re all in the flux of digital transformation but that digital sphere does actually have its benefits. Getting a consistent writing pattern is key for me because I simply can’t bear the thought of missing out on writing time – my life is busy enough. So there are many times when I write on- the-move, using a tablet or smart phone, and find what space I can on the bus or on the train. With a traditional notepad and pen I have one version, but with an app I can create many at a touch of a button – check facts etc. and make an informed decision. Either way, an idea may come to me unexpectedly and I’ll want to get it down as soon as possible. Or I may want to change something I added earlier.
When I get home, I’ll just carry on from where I left off, having created an extra 250 words on the move that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. When I sit down to write, it’s true that I tend to keep my environment linear without too many distractions. This is because I want to immerse myself fully into the story. Some writers don’t even access the net when they write and I get that – though it is useful for when you need to check something quickly, it can also become a distraction. My linear writing environment is what I’m most comfortable with at the moment.
Running things over – asking questions
Once a draft has been written, I read it back and try and delve deeper into the characters and map out the stages of their development. For example, Breck’s individualism needed to be shown but not over hyped, his compassion had to be displayed but not sensationalised. It’s things like that I’ll run over and over, and when I’m comfortable with everything, I’ll type it up and begin the next draft.
Everyone’s writing process differs so take your time to figure it out and settle for what works best for you.
Lloyd was born in London and attained a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication. After gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, he completed a course in journalism. Lloyd has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block. Two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology, and he currently works as an Editor.