Wednesday, 31 March 2010
I came up with the plot of this 'locked-room-puzzle' a few years ago and wrote the whole book. However, that was before I took any sort of writing/grammar classes and when I re-read the manuscript, thought it absolute rubbish!
So, I decided to re-write it.
Although, I love the premise, I've been having trouble getting into it again and it's left me with a sort of writer's block. I couldn't figure out why until a couple of days ago.
When writers write mystery novels, it's not all suspense and chasing the bad guys around. My detectives have to do investigating - asking the suspects questions, chasing false leads. I know who the killer is and how he/she did it and why. The culprits are fascinating characters and chapters that include them are interesting to write.
However, the other minor characters -the ones the readers don't spend much time with - are less interesting to the writer and chapters that include interviews with them are somewhat boring to write and sadly, somewhat boring to read. But, that can't be! I have to make even those chapters interesting for my reader. My wonderful reviewers won't put up with drab chapters!
Hence the writer's block.
So today, I have to fall in love with my characters again. I have to find each and every suspect interesting to talk with. I have to find a motive for each and prepare alibis and plain and simply, know them.
For instance (and without giving much of the plot away), one suspect (not the murderer) my detective is interviewing next is having an affair with the beneficiary of the victim's estate. She seems suspicious because she's secretive about the affair. Boring! Been done. But, I have to make her interesting somehow. So, I began to think more about her background. Why did she marry? Why did she start having the affair? Why did she name her pet Mongoose Bubbles? I make her seem blond and flighty at first but she's not. I make it seem like her marriage is down the toilet but I have moments where it's clear to the reader she cares about her husband even though he's addicted to online gambling.
I have to continue talking with her, find out more about her but I believe that if I can get to know each character better, I can find the book interesting to write and interesting to read. Writer's block - gone!
What do you do if you find your writing boring?
I found Margot's blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist really interesting today. She wrote about variety in the mystery writing genre. Check it out!
Labels: Writing journal