cj Sez: On the writing front, I’m trying to think up another
challenge for the protagonist detective/sleuth in my mystery work-in-progress.
Writing a mystery presents a challenge and learning curve to
me. Thriller and romantic suspense genres I have managed to accomplish to some
degree (i.e., traditionally published), but a mystery is a whole ’nother story.
Here’s what I know so far:
What is the same among those genres is that my protagonist detective/sleuth
should be likeable, have some personality quirks, and a bit of backstory
baggage to be dropped intermittently into the story (no info dumps, please).
My sleuth has a confidant, which is another recommended
device. There’s a blossoming love interest to add a little jazz. Each of the
major characters, including the bad guy, will have a piece of history or secret
that affects how they speak and react and which, I hope, generates mixed
feelings—reader dislike tinged with a degree of sympathy.
Jeffery Deaver: “I like the way words go together and I like
the gamesmanship of poetry. It is such a challenge.”
(cj Sez: It’s why I love to write
haiku, and it works the same way for me with novels.)
The clues and red herrings are my biggest struggles. What do
they read like, really? Where and how do I place them to invite the reader to
try to solve the mystery but not reveal so much that they know the answer too
I don’t plot. I’m a pantser or, more accurately, a
pathfinder. Once I know how the story starts and should end, I find my way
through the manuscript by throwing roadblocks in the paths of my characters and
figuring out how to have them logically escape. But for a mystery, I’ll have to
do some ::gasp:: plotting.
I once read that many mystery writers, including New York
Times best-selling author Hallie Ephron, struggle with these same issues . . . that makes me feel better. I do know that, like
all first drafts (second, third, et al.), my characters, clues, and red
herrings will change with each future edit cycle, and also the denouement.
|cj Sez My method exactly.|
What I really like about this writing-a-mystery-challenge is
that I’m learning new things. My personal goal has long been to learn something
new every day, and this project is certainly helping me reach my goal. How
about you? Do you have a personal goal?
Mark your calendars … There’s going to be A Facebook PARTY, and you’re
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2022 AT 9 AM CDT
Harbor Humane Society’s
"The Big Fang" all-day
A whole day of author posts, questions, answers, give-aways, and prizes.
I’m on tap from 5 to 6 p.m. and will have a give-away, so stop by and put your
name in the virtual hat for a drawing.
And, if you happen to be in the Holland, Michigan, area,
there will be an in-person book signing (complete with coffee and donuts) from
10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Harbor Humane Resale Store.
THE BIG FANG benefit anthology from Harbor Humane Society includes
cozies, capers, and humorous crime and mystery stories from 22 authors.
BUY IT NOW AT:
Ebook link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WLZHSMK
That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on,
and I’ll try to do the same. Let me know if you found a nugget in here you can
use or can improve upon.
P.S. The Haunted
Bookshop has signed paperback copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER my author-graphed
books or any book of your choice on-line from an indie bookstore,
contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
P.P.S. Re THE BIG FANG: If you order from The Haunted
Bookshop and want your book author-graphed, let them know, and I'll pop down
there and sign it for you. Thanks!
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