Starting with the Bad Guy

B.K. Stevens

Usually, in the opening pages of a whodunit, we have to hide our bad guys— make them look harmless, blend them into a pool of red herrings, or keep them out of sight altogether. The plot of my recently released young adult mystery, Fighting Chance, offered me a rare opportunity to put my killer at the center right from the beginning. To start building an ominous tone from the first sentence—it felt irresistibly tempting. But whenever we start with the bad guy, we face special challenges, and we have tough decisions to make.

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2 thoughts on “Starting with the Bad Guy

  1. Jane Gorman

    Thanks for sharing this, BK, and I love the new site. I like the voice you’ve created for Matt. He sounds like a mature youth to me ( though I know you say he has some growing to do). And I love the idea of showing the killer from his point of view. Jane

  2. Bonnie

    Thanks for your comment, Jane! (And thanks for testing the comment system–your comment got caught in a spam filter, but I found it; now let’s see if my reply makes it to you). Yes, I agree that Matt’s mature in some respects, not in all respects–he handles relationships with other boys better than he does relationships with girls or family members. But he’ll learn–I tried to make the novel is a coming-of-age story as well as a mystery.

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