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Lou Allin: Layering the landscape

Today's crime writing tip: think of your story as less straight line, more tapestry.

"My first visit hits the bare essentials: who and what. Conversation is at a minimum. At this point, I may complete only one or two pages. Next round adds sensory details, starting with sight. Some sensations I don’t think about. Others don’t occur to me until the fifth or sixth draft. Adding hearing, touch, smell, and even perhaps taste, I add layers until I am satisfied, finishing if possible with an analogy from nature that matches the human situation. Each time, another ten percent enlarges the text. For each season, I keep a plant diary."

Lou Allin wrote the Belle Palmer mysteries set in Northern Ontario. Now on Vancouver Island, she is working on a new series: On the Surface Die and She Felt No Pain feature RCMP Corporal Holly Martin. That Dog Won’t Hunt is a novella for adults with literacy issues.

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