Introducing My New Writing Project: A Psycho Thriller

My head has really opened up since I gave up tobacco, started vaping, and cut out the caffeine and diet cokes that dominated my life. My doc has cut my psych meds in half and my creativity is just where I need it to be.  My writing has taken off and I’m having fun with it. The rocket scientist has to write me notes telling me to come to bed at four or five in the morning.

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I’ve posted a bit in comments about this project, but not much on my blog. There’s something about putting it up on my blog that increases the pressure to perform and I want to take this slow and do it right. But, I’m so excited; I just have to share a little. It’s a psycho thriller/suspense novel.

I wrote a couple of sentences…not really a log-line, but a sentence explaining the conflict:

“Jillian wants to be free from the torment of her nightmares, but she may have to give up someone important to her to get there.”

Let me tell you about Jillian. She’s an adult, but for a year in her childhood she suffered clairvoyant nightmares. Now divorced, with an eighteen year old son and a twelve year old daughter, a love interest has come out of her past, a dog goes missing, and the nightmares have started again.

Her first nightmare is a repeat of the first one she experienced as a child, and she sees through the eyes of the victim.

In the subsequent nightmares, she is seeing through the eyes of a killer. Right now, he’s only an enigma, but quickly becomes all too real.

There is a G.B.I. Liaison, a therapist, and a psychic medium/paranormal psychologist involved in the story. The Liaison and the psychic medium have their own thing going on.

I am writing the nightmares in first person. This is a new experience for me. I thought it would be challenging, but it’s so much fun. I can get deeply inside the head of my serial killer and examine motives. I like the first person parts better than the third person parts, but it’s all good.

I don’t have a working title for this novel yet. I’m open to suggestions. It takes place in and around Atlanta, Georgia. Places I know well. It needed a big, spread-out metro area.

I’m an avid reader of the psycho thriller, where my husband reads mostly regional Florida crime fiction/adventure. My last novel was written on a challenge by him, but this is my baby. I’m letting him read and advise me on some parts, but for the most, it’s up to me. My writing style is more like my original style and it’s working well. But the chapters are short 1200-1400 words.

One of my most favorite authors of all times in Thomas Harris of Hannibal. I also read some true crime. Having worked seven years in psychiatry, with a few in forensics, has really helped in developing my characters.

I’m following a solid, well-established story structure for my outline in Scrivener. It has helped me keep the pace fast and steady.

I wonder if being inside of a serial killer’s head while he performs his nasty deeds will be off-putting to readers. It certainly heightens the suspense and intrigue…at least for me.

54 thoughts on “Introducing My New Writing Project: A Psycho Thriller

  1. Sounds like a very fun and intriguing ideas. Love how the main character has older kids than the elementary age that one tends to see. Not sure about a title suggestion though. Maybe you’ll think of one near the end. What’s G.B.I. stand for?

    • Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The MC had to be in her late thirties with teen kids because of the time period of her childhood nightmares. She was seven when a certain serial killer was active. I’m hoping the title will jump out at me at some point.

  2. I love thrillers, mystery and suspense. Your plot sounds fantastic! Starting a new project is always so much fun. I admit I had to Google G.B.I.. Consider me educated and intrigued!

    • This one has been rolling around in my head a couple of years and everything just started to gel. I can’t write as fast as my mind thinks (terrible typist) and I so want to move it along. Fun!

  3. Sounds like a great book. So glad you’re making progress and diving so deeply into your creativity. I bet your time in psychiatry definitely helps.

    It is weird to get inside a killer’s head. My second novel has scenes from a killer’s POV. I found it difficult to write at times, mostly because I was worried what people would think and I find his acts despicable. But I tried to channel Stephen King who says to shut those thoughts off. If we worry what cousin Joey will think, we’re not writing honestly.

    And again, congrats on your positive lifestyle changes. I’m so impressed. You’re a great inspiration to others!

    • Thanks Carrie. I’ve really been supported by the e-cig forum people. They’re a great group of folk. I hang out on the back porch with the old-timers.

      I seriously like writing the killer point of view. I know I have more homicidal tendencies than suicidal tendencies…lol…seriously, I couldn’t care less if people think I’m a maniac. I kinda am 🙂

  4. Even if cutting out smoking and diet drinks didn’t help you write better, it’s a healthy move. It’s sounds that all of these improvements are opening up new channels of creativity for you. I can’t imagine writing a psycho-thriller. Think I’ll stay with memoir, SK. So happy for you!

  5. Good luck with your new thriller and I just know it will be intriguing and exciting. I was able to knock out a 300 page hand written mystery a few years back. I hope to be like the elderly woman who wrote, “And Ladies of the Club” who was over 75 years old, maybe 80 when she got her book published. My book needs lots of time and work, some fine-tuning… smiles, Robin

    • It will come. I was inspired to proceed with this idea after an author friend started a you tube vlog called “That’s so Bizarre”. The feedback on her FB page told me that there is a huge audience for psychic and paranormal. I know there is for paranormal romance, but I can’t go there. She was interviewing folk about paranormal experiences and I recalled my clairvoyant dreams from the eighties. I’ve mentioned them to a few people before. I have had this book idea for a very long time, but wasn’t quite sure how to execute it. I wrote it in third person and that wasn’t working for me. I tried writing all the dream sequences in first person and, wow, what a difference. I’m loving this and I’m doing it for me. Not for Greg. Something I’d like to read. If it gets published and readers love it, that’s all good, too 🙂

      • There are 739 reasons I’m struggling with writing these days. That number grows by the day, by the way. But … one of them is that I feel like I owe it to myself to finish my works in progress. I have invested so much time in them already, that it would be such a waste to not finish them. So, as I struggle with how to do that, I find that I have an utter lack of real and meaningful new ideas. Which isn’t a bad thing. Just need to get those works in progress to no longer be “in progress” anymore. And I’m making small steps towards that. A few little sparkles in my head about two of them in particular that i need to commit to spending some time to sit down and see what happens.

        • I have three works that I have all but abandoned. I guess I just have to give my attention to the one that screams the loudest. Right now, it’s this one.

          • I go back and forth between Part Two of Northville Five and Dime and The Irrepairable Past. Right now I’m focusing on The Irrepairable Past because I think I’m closer to seeing the end on that than I am with Northville.

            • That’s good. I’m so far from the end on any one of my projects, I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever get there. I have the ending of this in my mind, but who knows? My characters may take me somewhere different. They are really starting to develop their own personalities and what I have planned for them might be totally different from what transpires. That’s one of the reasons I’m sort of laying low on this one. I don’t know what to expect.

              • With all of my works in progress — which, unfortunately number four, no, five — I know where I want to go with them. I generally know who they will end. It’s just getting there that I am struggling with so much at the moment. It’s this feeling I have … that if I have figured out how it will end and I’m barely halfway through the story then won’t the reader figure it out as well?

  6. The most fun I’ve had with any of my “novels” was when I wrote from the POV of the killer. I don’t think it’s off-putting to write from the killer’s perspective as long as you can find some humanity in the killer. Not stuff to “excuse” the killing but people are always interested in why someone kills. Writing from the killer’s POV can bring that out in a way that will make the reader want to keep reading. And of course, most readers of psycho/thriller/crime novels are a bit if not a lot voyeuristic. And yes, I include myself 🙂 Glad to hear you’re feeling so good. Kudos to you for giving up caffeine. I would like to and maybe I will once I can dump my day job, but right now … literally right how I need some caffeine!

    • I thought about redeeming qualities also. It doesn’t seem he has those yet. He’s a ruthless, indiscriminate, psychopathological serial killer. But having him in first person allows me to get into his motives, which in the end you sort of have to sympathize with.

  7. So excited to read about this! I’ve been a bit AWOL from wordpress a lot of late (99% of my posts were written ages ago and scheduled so the blog would continue but it meant I wasn’t reading as many other blogs as much as I might like to). This was partly a madly busy job (which I’ve now left) and also because I’ve been writing more novels myself. But I wanted to pop in and see what you were working on and read this – wow! My favourite kind of book from one of my favourite authors – no pressure (LOL) but I hope it is available soon! I cannot wait to get my copy!! 🙂 🙂

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