How I regret that in my life as a reader I’ve paid so little attention to plot. Ask me about any novel that’s stuck in my mind and I’m likely to tell you about the characters the settings or the general situation, and when I sat down to write New History that’s all I thought I needed: characters and the situation that brings them together. How wrong could I be? However crucial the characters are (and they are) none of it will work without a plot, or rather a whole set of plots that will keep those people together (or apart) for as long as it takes to resolve their difficulties, and all the while respecting the characters we started with in the first place. Then there’s the whole information thing. Having decided the actual train of events, we have to work who knows what and when, into which we must also factor in the reader, i.e. how much does the writer reveal or conceal to keep him/her turning the pages. In this respect every novel, I have decided, is a detective novel.
If only I read more detective fiction!