The Write Stuff….

I’m baaacck! Sorry to have neglected my faithful readers for so long. But I haven’t been neglecting my writing, just you.

Truth is, I’ve started writing a novel. It’s a murder mystery. I think they are called murder mysteries because it’s murder trying to write one and it’s a mystery why anyone would try.

This is my first ever venture into this exciting realm so you might say I’m a neophyte. Except a neophyte probably has a lot more going for them than me. Turns out you also have to be imaginative and clever.

And all the characters! There are so many characters in these type novels they should come with a program. At book signings they should have a barker hawking programs….“Hey, hey, here ya go, over here. Get yer programs here. Hot off the press… Ya can’t tell the players without a scorecard…step right up!” I thought maybe I could get around this by just making the victim and the butler the only two characters in the book. Patty said no.

And research is required. If I’m making this stuff up anyway, why does any of it have to be true? Seems readers want depth to their characters so they can relate to them. Just their names doesn’t seem to satisfy them. And they want to know more about the places where the scenes happen. If the victim gets murdered in Cheboygan, what does it matter what Cheboygan is like? They’re dead. They no longer care. Again, seems the readers do.

As many an author has said before, they don’t know the whodunit themselves until well into the writing. In my case, if it goes on any longer before figuring that out, I might end up killing the victim myself. Trouble is, mystery writing 101 says never make the culprit someone who hasn’t been introduced in the novel yet. Damn.

I’ve also read where more than one now well-known and successful author has said they were embarrassed by their first novel when it was published. But I’m way ahead of them, I’m already embarrassed.

To be honest, it really is quite fun to be doing this at last. The creative juices are flowing and Patty is enjoying being my proofreader and/or editor. I’ll keep you posted periodically. It’s going to be a long, long process.

In the meantime, those of you who have butlers, beware!

27 thoughts on “The Write Stuff….

  1. Murder mysteries are my favourite! Looking forward to reading yours someday.
    I’ve often thought it is a shame that writers don’t have a character cheat sheet at the beginning of the book – name, brief description of occupation and relationships. I sometimes have to make one myself so that I can keep track of everybody!

    • Absolutely, Margy. I have to use that same cheat sheet as I am writing otherwise I get mixed up. I guess I will get to know the characters better as time goes on. Hopefully, so will the readers!

  2. Well look at you go! Stick with it. Sounds like you’ve got everything all figured out. Except that part about whodunit, but don’t worry too much about that part, it’ll come to you. Eventually. Maybe. Hopefully. Good luck with that.

    No seriously, I’m excited for you. Mystery writing is not for sissies.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Patricia. Actually there are a few people that have inspired me to do this and you are one of them.

      As for the who the murderer is, maybe it could be the owner of a B&B who had an altercation with the victim? Hmmmm….

      • Perhaps an older woman with a low tolerance for stupidity? I can see how that might work.

        Maybe poison in the food. A mysterious “fall” down the stairs. Lots of possibilities here. I mean if we’re looking for possibilities that is. Not that I’d know anything about poisoning someone’s breakfast or pulling out the loose corner of the stair runner. Nope. I’m only speculating.


  3. Hi, Al, this is wonderful news. Having written a children’s book, I know it will be a very long process which is why I did the children’s book first. You have encouraged me to write my own book. Let’s keep in touch as we start this journey more or less together. Thanks for doing this good friend. We all need people in our lives to encourage us and you do. God bless you and your proofreader, Patty. Ed will be mine!

  4. Great to hear from you, my Bro. I was wondering how you were getting on. Comforting to hear that you are writing creatively and I bet you writing is laced with your ‘groundedness’ (it’s a word I would argue for in Scrabble) and humour. Can’t wait to read your novel. Huge hugs for you and Patty and I hope your new hip has settled down? Much love ❤ xXx

    • Thank you, Jane. Good to hear from you as well. I won’t be injecting much humor (if any) in this first try. Writing a dramedy is best left to the experts. The blog will have to do for now as the outlet for my weird sense of humor.

      The hip is 100%. The even better news is, my knee on the same leg was also painful at times. The surgeon said I might find it is better also when the hip is replaced. He was right. I feel like I got a two-for-one special.

      Best wishes and love to you and yours for the upcoming Christmas holidays from both of us.

    • Thank you for saying so, Alison. If I ever get it published or self-published, even if only in electronic form, I will be counting heavily on my friends for talking it up.

  5. Thanks for giving the origin of “murder mystery.” That explains why I review them instead of write them. Best wishes to you in your murderous adventure.

    • Thank you. You will be receiving a draft for the final edit. I won’t blame you if you refuse to give me your address (he, he),

    • Thanks, Cathy. No info yet on the release date, just sometime before I’m dead, hopefully.

      P.S. Congrats again on your third grandchild. You surpassed me in a scant two years!

  6. Al, this is such amazing news! I would love to read your finished novel – although I’m not good at following storylines when there are more than a couple of characters – perhaps the butler and main character are sufficient 😉 I wish I had the concentration to sit down and write a book. I have ideas, just don’t have the discipline to sit down and write at the moment… one day though! If you have any tips I’d love to hear them. Keep writing Al, I’m sure you will decide who done it eventually:)
    Take care

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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