Even if a plot involves a lot of framework, avoid external constructions. Reading isn’t really about admiring the author’s cleverness and intelligence, but sharing experiences and feelings. For that reason, don’t think about what others want to read or how you will scare your audience, but listen to yourself, look for your own vulnerability, and always try to portray feelings instead of explaining them. To write is to turn your ears inward and anchor each moment and each character in the personal. If you yourself are scared then you’re on the right track; if you get tears in your eyes and have a hard time sitting still on your chair as the killer phones your protagonist, then you are already more than halfway there.
When you write you should avoid looking back for as long as you can. Write, write, and write. Just keep going. All authors produce bad text. It doesn’t matter since it can be removed later on, once you have succeeded in capturing what it is you are after. For instance you might find a strong piece of dialogue by letting the characters talk to one another from the moment they meet. It can turn into a ten-page conversation that is later cut down to five succinct sentences, right where the conflict starts. You shouldn’t be afraid to cut, re-evaluate and improve your text, but wait till you have a firm grasp of the sequence (a group of scenes that go together).
Even though it is generally the right thing to do to dig where you stand, to use environments that you know, professions or situations that you have an insight into, we also want to advise you to invest in thorough research. It takes time, but gives you so much back in return.
Your story has to work from each character’s perspective. Even a killer will make logical decisions based on their situation and psychological disposition – at one certain moment in time, murder is the best solution to their problem. If we had to pick a word that describes our aspiration as crime fiction writers, it would be “empathy”.