Hiding and Revealing Clues

I’ve been chugging along on this book, but now I’ve reached the point where I have to start moving toward solving this thing. I’ve spent so long trying to hide clues, and now I have to reveal them. This is where it gets tricky, trying to make things hard for my sleuth (and for readers) while still needing my sleuth to uncover things. One challenge I have is that the situation makes it hard for her to find and interview suspects, so I have to come up with ways for her to meet up with them.

Mysteries are a lot harder than they seem to write. It’s strange, the Enchanted, Inc. books were essentially mysteries, just without the dead bodies, but I don’t seem able to move what I was doing there over to this structure. I think there was less pressure to make things tricky there because the story wasn’t really about the “case.” It was about the magic and all the other stuff that was going on with the characters. I think, to some extent, that in a mystery series, readers follow it more because they like the characters and situation than for the actual mysteries, but to get readers to that point, the case in the first book has to be good. I just read the first book in a mystery series in which I liked the sleuth and the concept, but the case was handled so badly that I don’t think I’ll be reading any other books in the series.

What I’m having fun with is building a new “world” and creating new characters. That’s always been my favorite part of writing. The actual story and the plot have always been my challenge. It took me a long time to figure out what to do after I came up with a situation, a setting, and the characters.

I’m afraid Thanksgiving is going to kill my momentum, just as I’m getting close to the end. I guess I’ll just hole up in the guest room while everyone else is watching football.

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