What I want to have happen in my story is to gather a task force to investigate the murders going on around town. Of course, the killer will be on the task force, so he can monitor what they know, throw them off track, etc. Should I kill off another attorney now? Maybe a female this time? I think I need to get Ollie out to the jail to see Araceli, but there’s no action there. Maybe I should have the murder happen in another jurisdiction, so Ollie & her buds aren’t in the middle of it, again?
I’m having a hard time getting this thing moving—it seems that most of the danger and tension that comes to Ollie is in her head. Maybe I do need to kill some more people so the task force is established sooner. However she’s involved in it (whether she’s on it, or just friends with people who are) it will become apparent to the killer that she is a threat to him, and of course he’s going to go after her. Maybe I’m just taking too long getting there?
Maybe Ollie needs to do some research & discover some old murders that fit the pattern? Bring it to the attention of Merc her mentor, so the TF is established soon?
Thank you, as always, for your invaluable help...
Hi, Holly ~
Murder? Did you say you want to murder someone? Several someones?? CHA-CHING!!
No, seriously—a good rule of thumb when writing a thriller is: when things get slow—kill someone.
How this stacks is, you’ve got two sisters—Ollie and Araceli. Araceli stands accused of their father’s murder and it’s up to Ollie to prove her innocent…
A task force would only be formed if:
1) There are several murders, or:
2) The victim was extremely high profile, either due to media coverage or importance within the community.
I think you can cover that by killing off some high profile defense attorneys and or a judge (I’d kill ‘em all, but I’m stabby that way). Your killer needs to go on a spree of sorts—two or three victims in as many days—this will whip the community into a frenzy, making the task force a viable option.
But… and I’m sure you’ve thought of this:
1) Once these murders start popping up, it’s going to become clear that Araceli is innocent and she’ll be released, thus solving Ollie’s surface problem.
2) Ollie would never be allowed within a country mile of this task force if her sister is the suspected murderer.
One way to avoid all this is to make these new murders totally different from Ollie’s father’s. Have them die violently or publicly (or both) so that when the task force is formed, no one is including her father’s death in the line-up. They have Araceli all sewn up and since it’s a completely different case, Ollie can work the task force. From within the task force, she can view case files of other victims and note some sort of pattern that only she can see, and how it relates to her father’s murder. Ollie will start to investigate on her own because any correlation between the TF murders and her father’s will get her kicked off the task force, thus ending the flow of information she needs to solve the case. As she digs, she uncovers a sting of similar murders across the country and starts to connect them all via this magical pattern (don’t worry, I have faith in you!) only she can see. When Ollie feels like she’s compiled enough info to make her case, she brings her findings to the table and get shot down but since the killer is on the task force, he’ll know just how close she is and try to kill her before she can expose him.
I know that Ollie happens to be in possession of some information that she took from her father’s apartment. What if there is something on it that the killer wants? Maybe she’s “mugged” in the parking garage at work( the killer attacked her to try to get the thumb drive but she doesn’t have it on her.) Maybe she lands in the hospital but checks herself out early to recuperate at home and the killer breaks into her house while she’s there. Maybe she goes back to her father’s to dig for more info and the killer breaks in while she’s there… there is plenty of opportunity for danger here, Holly—you just got to make it happen! J
Thanks for the question, Holly and I hope I helped!
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