Tag Archive | Scott Turow

Work in Progress

I was asked to do this by Catherine Lumb. I think it’s an interesting excercise to make you think about your writing.

What is the title of the book/WIP?

The book is called Crucial Evidence. Apart from WIP it’s had about five titles including ‘Defending the Innocent.’ and ‘Missing Alibi’

Where did the idea come from?

I know that defending an innocent man is the hardest thing a barrister can do. I expanded on that theme so that my main character goes to unusal lengths to ensure her client gets a fair trial.

What Genre is your WIP.

It’s a crime novel, legal drama.

Which actors would you chose to play your characters in a movie rendition.

I am tempted to say Maxine Peake as she plays a very similar character in Silk, but prehaps she should play my police officer, Alexis Seymour, and Anne Marie Duff could play Cassie Hardman, my barrister, but perhaps she’s too attractive for Cassie.

What is your one sentence synopsis of your WIP

Female barrister Cassie Hardman, sure her client is innocent of murder, searches for a crucial witness, and with Police woman, Alexis Seymour, finds the witness and then identifies the real killer.

Is your WIP published or represented?

I have sent the book to a number of Literary Agents without any sucess, but this year the consulting editor of a major publishing house asked to read the whole book. She didn’t want to take it any further after reading the novel, but she made some suggestions about the book and I am now redrafting it with those in mind with the intention of resubmitting it again.

How long did it take to write it?

About three years so far. I keep on rewriting it when I see flaws or I’ve had comments about it from Literary Agents, which make sense to me.

What other books within your genre would you compare it with.

‘Presumed Innocent’ by Scott Turow, the outstanding example of  a legal thriller, and John Grisham’s ‘A Time to Kill.’

Which authors inspired you to write this WIP

Charles Dickens. ‘Bleak House’ is a great legal drama with strong identifiable characters.  You can find the same types in the legal profession today.

Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in this project?

If you have ever asked yourself how can a barrister represent a person they believe is guilty, you will find the answer.

Getting a publisher

I promised myself that if I didn’t get an agent willing to represent me at the Winchester Writers’ Conference I would self-publish. I didn’t get an agent interested but an editor from one of the major publishing houses asked to see the whole of my book.

I sent it off in high hopes that this would be the breakthrough I was hoping for, but she thought there were some problems with the plot and made a few suggestions about which areas she thought would benefit from some rewriting. She ended by saying she wouldn’t take my book for now but she thought I had great potential. So I’m starting again reviewing the plot, the characters and the amount of legal jargon. I’ve begun by rereading the trial passages in Scott Turow’sPresumed Innocent‘ and examining the extent to which he uses technical information about the trial process in his writing. Actually it’s quite a lot and he does explain the legal terms his characters use in some detail, telling and not showing. It is my experience that most people are interested in the legal process and want to know how it works.  I’d really like to know if that applies to readers as well as the people I meet.

Then I have done an analysis of my plot to see where I can improve the tension. There are three different plots that intertwine and I think I need to work on how they work together and when I need to keep them apart.

I think this is going to keep me occupied for quite a while and I suspect this blog will get  neglected in the process.

On another note we are off to France for a month so while I can write, access to the Internet is rather limited so a bientot.