It’s now been 10 days since I started my new project, a murder mystery called Built for Murder and I have to say its become some of the easiest writing I’ve ever attempted. I’m completing almost a chapter a day and the ideas and interactions are flowing like a river after a rain storm.
Now, while I love science fiction and fantasy, the mysteries have always been a close third in my genre interests. Collecting the many adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nero Wolfe, Travis McGee, Parker, and a slew of others dominated my library shelves. Unlike science fiction and fantasy books, which seemed to always be in short supply during my formative years, the number of mysteries seemed endless.
At its core a murder mystery is a puzzle, unraveling that puzzle is a major part of the story, almost as much as the person doing the investigation. At the start I setup a murder to appear as an accident, introduced my PI, Erich Rambles, a former US Marine and veteran of the Iraq war, now living in Austin, and sprinkled the plot with a variety of interesting suspects and their interactions. Then I turned everyone loose and watch what happens.
Unlike my “fantasy of fail” novel I don’t have to stop to explain something, I can just say “Erich’s mobile vibrated. He pulled it out to find yet another sexting message from Denise” and everyone understands what I mean. In An Empire Forgotten, I can’t just say “The evest trees soared over the city” without explaining them in more detail. This enables the reader to understand what evest trees represent, what they look like, and their importance to the rest of the story.
So far, its going well. Before drifting off to sleep each night, I think about what new information Erich needs, determine the main points to reveal, and go to sleep. The next day its a simple matter to translate the plot points imagined last night into today’s chapter.
So far, its been a joy ride.
So I’ve revised my plan. I’m planning to finish a complete first draft before Thanksgiving. It’s not quite up to NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month speed, but still quite a healthy pace for me.
Wish me luck.