Tuesday Writing Tips with Di Bates

Dianne BatesToday I’m pleased to welcome prolific and well respected writer, Dianne Bates who is visiting DeeScribe Writing as part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of her new YA thriller, The Girl in the Basement.

A man lurks in the shadows, spying on a girl in a red party dress. 
The girl, Libby, is trying to shrug off a bad date. Not for a moment does she suspect that this night is the end of life as she knows it. The man pounces; Libby is grabbed and driven away. Held prisoner in a basement, she grapples with constant fear, all the while sustaining herself with thoughts of escape. Meanwhile, her captor is engaged on another mission, that of abducting a young boy to complete his ‘family’. 

Will Libby ever escape? Or will the man kill her? And what of the boy who refuses to submit to the man’s demands? Can he possibly survive his merciless anger? 

Sound intriguing? Di has generously provided some great writing tips and comments on how she wrote her new thriller.

Comment on one of the blogs Di is visiting on tour and you could win a free copy of The Girl in the Basement. (see information at the end of this post)

Di’s Tips on writing The Girl in the Basement

  1. Getting the idea: the impetus came from a newspaper photo showing a teenager and a young boy bound and gagged in the back of a vehicle. I asked myself who are they? Why are they bound and gagged? Who is responsible for their situation? I then set out to explore and find the answers.
  2. Deciding who was telling the story. I decided to have two alternating narrators: one is the teenage girl who is kidnapped, and the other is the man (a psychopathic serial killer) who abducts her.
  3. The Girl in the Basement front new smlFinding the right voices for the story and what tense to use: after much experimenting I chose present tense with first person (girl’s voice) and third person (man’s point of view).
  4. Creating character profiles for the main characters. Who are they? What are they like? What is their respective background stories? What motivates them?
  5. Where to start the story? First I created a prologue showing the man’s circumstances prior to the abduction and then moved onto the night of the girl’s sixteenth birthday, the night she is abducted.
  6. The story developed from the characters; what they did, how they reacted, how they interacted. To make the story rocket along, I kept saying, ‘what happens next?’
  7. Will the girl manage to escape was a guiding thought, or will the man kill her and the boy he also kidnaps? This forms the basic story plotline.
  8. Every week I took my work-in-progress to a writers’ workshop for critiquing; this was very helpful in motivating me to continue writing and in helping me refine and improve my story.
  9. Superglue (applied liberally to the seat of my pants at my office desk) and persistence are the only ways to finish any story – and this was true of finishing The Girl in the Basement!

Di is visiting lots of other great blogs on tour.

Here’s where you can find her, along with details of how to win a copy of her new book:

Blog tour Dianne Bates, The Girl in the Basement

The ultimate characterisation challenge.

How can you be a sweet innocent teen-age girl one moment, a terrified ten-year-old boy the next, then a psychological killer?

Follow Dianne Bates’ blog tour and find out how she did it in her thriller The Girl in the Basement. As well as reviews of this riveting spine-chilling thriller each day you will discover the reason she wrote the story, the research she had to do and much more. Comment on any of the blogs and go in the draw to win a free copy of the book.

Monday July 1st. www.creativekidstales.com.au Review

Tuesday July 2nd  www.alisonreynolds.com.au  Interview

Wed July 3rd  www.buzzwordsmagazine.com Interview

Thurs July 4th  www.christinemareebell.wordpress.com Interview

Fri July 5th  www.buzzwordsmagazine.com Review

Sat July 6th www.elaineoustonauthor.com Interview

Sun July 7th www.kids-bookreview.com Review

Monday July 8th  sherylgwyther.wordpress.com Interview

Tuesday July 9th  deescribewriting.wordpress.com Interview

Tuesday July 9th clancytucker.blogspot.com.au Interview

Wed July 10th  www.morrispublishingaustralia.com Interview

Wed July 11th www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com Interview

Thursday July 12th www.melissawray.blogspot.com.au

Comment on any of the blogs and go in the draw to win a free copy of the book. Books are available from any bookstore in Australia, many online stores as a paperback (including Amazon) and eBook, and from www.morrispublishingaustralia.com.


10 thoughts on “Tuesday Writing Tips with Di Bates

  1. Enjoying this tour, although ‘enjoy’ is probably not the precise way to describe the feeling one gets from the premise of this book. Some fabulous tips revealed and shared again. Thanks Dee and Di. Still shopping around for that super strength superglue!! Cheers Dimity

  2. This was an intriguing insight into how a highly experienced author like Di has created another compelling book. The fact that the catalyst for the story came from seeing a photo shows the ability of the creative mind to find storylines in all sorts of different ways. I especially liked the comment that even someone who is as experienced and well known as Di still needs a spot of superglue to bring the project to fruition. I think I’ll follow Di’s wise words on that account.

  3. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about Di’s new book lately. Sounds awesome. I love psychological thrillers. Interesting to read how Di came up with the characters and plot for her story. Hope it all goes well.

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