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  • Writer's pictureCherry Northcutt


September 17, 2019

One of the comments I’ve had from several of my beta readers is that I need to move the murder up in the story. It takes too long before anyone gets killed. So, I’ve been trying to scooch up the timeline and take out some of my set up and back story but it’s still not enough.

I have seen some books in which the murder is described in a vague sort of way at the very beginning, and then the book begins as sort of a flashback to a week earlier or thereabouts. This was something James Patterson mentioned in his Master Class. So, I thought I would try it.

After this brief murderous prologue, Chapter One begins two days earlier. I would love to get your feedback.

Prologue: January 1 – 1:45am

She was angry and confused as she eased her car into a space by the back wall of the church. Why had she agreed to meet here? What more was there to say? As she emerged from the car she pulled her coat tighter against the chill in the air. She knew why she was here. They had argued and she wanted to resolve things.

She stood next to her car and scanned the road, which was deserted. She thought about waiting in her car, at least it would be warmer. She checked the time on her phone. Idly, she glanced at the bushes lining the brick wall. The parking area was bathed in light from the street lamp. Something shiny caught her eye, lodged half way down in one of the bushes. She bent to pick it up.

She heard the van’s engine and looked up. She was momentarily blinded by the bright headlights. The van was coming directly at her. She stood up now, holding the object in front of her, as if to shield her. It was too late to run.

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