Thursday, February 01, 2007


Working at home, sort of. This is my home office, where the deep pondering, brooding, head scratching, frustration and screaming occur. And sometimes I actually get some writing accomplished. Plotting a mystery, I'm finding out, is no easy task. It isn't hard to come up with a plot, but to find a fresh twist to add is something that requires much more thought. The motivation for the crime needs to be compelling, but there are only so many motivations. It seems to come down to love, money, revenge, or a crime of passion. These have all been worked over thousands of times, so how do you come up with a new twist? There's the rub, as the saying goes. So I'm working on it, and trying to write as far into the story as I can without having the killer's motivation completely resolved in my mind. No one ever said it would be easy, but it is fun.


At 9:52 AM , Blogger sharkjames said...

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At 10:07 AM , Blogger gary198378 said...

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At 8:41 PM , Blogger Southern Writer said...

Have you run through the Seven Deadly Sins? One of them, perhaps? Can you reveal how the victim dies? That might shed light on the motive.

At 6:22 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

SW, oh yeah, I've run through the seven deadlys, think of how many times those has been used for the motivation of a crime. That's pretty much what they all boil down to, which is what makes it difficult to find a fresh twist. The victim dies in the first chapter, so I'm past that. The how is taken care of, as are parts of the why, and now I'm working on sub-plots, so I can up the stakes as the story progresses. It's a slow process for me, but I'm muddling through. Thanks for the suggestions, keep 'em coming :-)

At 7:20 PM , Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

I'm thinking the insane (killer) doesn't need a reason. Maybe he likes the color of blood. That's reason enough.

There is no way I'd ever post a picture of my desk. Ever.

At 7:46 AM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Brenda, I'm not sure that I can construct a compelling mystery around that. I think readers (re:editors) want to see something with a little more intrigue than just liking the color of blood, or the joy of killing. It's not really a slasher kind of story. I'm making progress, but it's definitely not easy. Thanks for the ideas though, keep em coming :-)

At 7:46 AM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

And my desk isn't the messy part of my office, it's everything else around it LOL

At 9:14 PM , Blogger Kanani said...

Well, Hullo.
I subscribe to the notion that if you have a really interesting character, the action and plot will all be driven by him or her.

So work on that. Plot driven books often end up becoming repetitive or clones of others. Writing is fairly organic. Strive to write what you see your character doing, not necessarily what you think he or she should be doing. Let them get into trouble and have fairly cantankerous lives.

But a character? Well, those stay in your head forever, even if you can't remember what they did. You can even forgive a multitude of plot issues if you've got a great character (think: Bridget Jones) who is fun or compelling.

Remember this one: Ignatius J. Reilly.

Good luck! Come visit me on my blog!

At 6:51 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Kanani, thanks for the comment! I'm with you on letting the character drive the plot, to a large degree. I've been doing that with the last few chapters and I'm making much better progress. The first long story I wrote, that's what I did. I'm trying to put just a bit more structure in this one as I write it, due to the nature of the story. Now that I have an understanding of the primary plot line I'm just letting the MC go about his business and it's starting to flow. The revisions will be heavy, I'm sure, but I've accepted the fact that it will always be that way. It's like a sculptor piling up the clay before he works his art.

Thanks again, and I will be dropping by your blog!

At 10:08 AM , Blogger Kanani said...

I think Ignatius J. Reilly is probably one of the most memorable characters ever written. The whole story of "A Confederacy Of Dunces" is long and rambling, but you always remember Ignatius.

So yeah, keep going w/ your character. When I get the time I'll print up your Ch. 4, mark it up and send it back to you.

Do you have a small circle of writers to meet with? They can be very helpful if they know how to give a good critique.

At 6:05 AM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Thanks Kanani, I would appreciate a critique from you, I it would be helpful to me.

I don't have a critique group that I'm part of, just never have found the time to get involved with one. I know I probably should but I don't want to get involved with just any group, I think it could be more harmful than helpful.

Thanks for stopping in. I look forward to your comments, whenever you get time :-)


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