Only a few ideas – depressing

The number of ideas in my head is not unlimited. Or to put it differently, I have many average ideas but very few good ones. I try to get them from films I watch on television or from books I read.
A few years ago I was on holiday in Greece and I spent the whole week thinking about my next book, but with no success. And then, a few weeks later, I accidentally stumbled across the idea for the next book Promise Me Eternity. I’m especially proud of this one as the plot is so complex that I was quite surprised with myself at the end.


Dr. Simon Patterson is a successful and well-respected neurosurgeon at Central Hospital in the town of Seattle. Married, though without children, he keeps himself so busy that one day is not much different from another. Until, that is, he saves the life of the powerful mobster Carlo Vucci.

At a dinner in honour of Dr. Patterson, Carlo Vucci introduces him to his alluring wife Christine. Simon is entranced by her beauty.

Three weeks later, Christine shows up at the hospital, complaining of terrible headaches. Dr. Patterson offers to help her, but Christine did not come to see him just because of her headaches. A series of shocking events follow that turn Dr. Patterson’s life into a nightmare. Among other things, he finds himself in court accused of murder in the first degree …

The tempo in the second half is particularly dynamic. Even I had problems whilst editing as I read the novel too quickly. The story pulled me in so much that I was unable to slow down.


Benefits of a scene-by-scene storyline

A scene-by-scene storyline must be well thought out and the timeline of events must be determined. It also has to contain descriptions of things and people.

An example: first we describe all the participating protagonists. Not just their appearance but also their character.

FRANZ HARTMAN        Maria’s father, 48 years old, imposing, demanding, fearless and
obsessed with antiques.
MARIA  HARTMAN    26 years old, currently unemployed, wavy, long red-brownish curls, warm brown eyes, slightly freckly skin. Very spoilt.
EDWIN WEBSTER         32 years old, fitter of air conditioning units, slim, light brown hair, high
forehead, likes to make fun of others, always the cleverest one around, doesn’t like losing. Brags all the time. A homophobe.
And so on.

And then the storyline.

1.    Two men arguing on a cliff. One of them falls into the abyss.
2.    Maria, aged 22, from Newcastle, (rather spoilt and insolent) inherits from the father she had hardly ever seen a castle cum hotel in Eisendorf, Austria. Her father died in an accident, fell down a steep cliff. Maria is told this news by the hotel manager.
3.    Monday – Everyone is shocked. The castle has been renovated and has approximately 40 rooms, plus another 20 that have not been furnished. The manager receives the guests in a friendly manner and explains to them that they can go hiking, that there’s a lake and a waterfall nearby or they can go and explore the nearby subterranean cave.
4.    The young people have a really good time, they swim in the lake and hike around the mountains nearby. They come across a forester who jokingly asks them if they have come to search for Count Wagner’s treasure. When they ask him about the count, he just smiles and tells them to enquire in the village.

In point three, it says Monday. You can also note the date, for example April 1. You note the names of days only if the whole story happens within one or two weeks, otherwise it’s better to write just the dates.