My Life, Student Life

Genre Fiction: A Crime Novel – Imogen’s Dark Secret

I experimented the different genres for my genre fiction module submission. These were horror, crime, Sci-fi and fantasy. Before deciding which one to use, I wanted to really push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. I had a think about the creative projects that were on the back burner for me and whether I could bring any of those forth.

I unearthed some crime ideas that I had started to brainstorm and free write a while ago, but never had a chance to complete them. One of them was Imogen’s Dark Secret.I used the brainstorm that I had created and tried to develop the different points before going back to free write. It was a challenge getting in to the state of mind to write this new story, to dive into this new genre and world with its new characters.

My immediate reaction was to leave it and go back to to writing my fantasy fiction novel for the submission but I’m so glad I continued to write my horror-crime creative piece.For the story, I decided tell it in a non-linear narrative. I’ve always written my creative pieces in linear fashion but for this plot-line I thought a non-linear narrative would be more impactful. I had to create distinctions between my main protagonists’ past and present, show two very important times in her life and contrast her past self with the person she is now.

There were definitely a lot of components to be considered while I was writing this piece and I did find it hard to get my head around this unfamiliar format of writing. At the same time, it was very exciting and different to juggle different parts of the story at the same time.

To help visualise the linear vs non-linear narrative and figure out where the pieces would fit, I created a storyboard. Each scene prompt is tacked up on it and I can move it around to see how the story will progress. It also allows me to think visually about how things are placed and if anything needs changing before submitting.

A non-linear narrative has proved very successful with this plot line because it shows a turning point in both my protagonist’s past and present and distinguishes the contrast in my character’s mindset as the novel plays out. I hope by doing this, I have shown the character arc and the character growth to the full extent that I intended to.


Going forward with my novel, I am enthusiastic about the non-linear narrative approach and excited to see what becomes of it.

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