Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Don't Murder Your Mystery

Yikes! I picked up Chris Roerden's book, Don't Murder Your Mystery at the recent writer's conference. How can I still be making so many friggin' stupid mistakes? I thought Festival Madness had the cleverest beginning ever, and guess what? It aint'.

Poor Festival Madness has been lying fallow for weeks due to overcommittment to writer's activities besides writing, and then because I have to do a chapter by chapter outline of World of Mirrors. Thought I should re-read it first, and of course I found things I STILL didn't like. Tweaked the beginning, and chopped yet another 1000 words. Slim, it's still not. Next challenge: how to make the first half of the book as exciting as the last. This sounds too egotistical for words, but the last half was so exciting that I stopped being an editor and started being a reader and for heaven's sakes I wrote the damn book. How could this be?

Another question: does the first half need to be as good as the second? Can the first half be merely good and the 2nd half , well, stupendous? It has always seemed to me that a story should build, build, build until it's racing along. Not from zero to eighty in 10 seconds. I dunno. Not that the beginning is slow. It just puts the pieces into place one by one until the whole barrel of fat is dumped into the fire. If I had $5000, I could give it go a professional editor and find out.

My friend's husband had a pithy expression that I like to quote, but not in all company, of course. If your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle. If. If. If.

Thisbe the younger more sensitive cat is afraid of the doorbell, as it heralds the dreaded strangers. Now the computer is making an occasional doorbell noise and not only is her nap interrupted, but she freaks out. Right now she sleeps on The World of Mirrors. I'm editing chapter 11 out of 14 and then comes the outline. Eccch!

Happy Turkey Day.

Maybe I'll post the wonderful recipe for leftovers, turkey croquettes. Man are they good.

Drooling already,


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