Friday, April 28, 2017

Writing a mystery

So I'm probably not going to make my Camp Nano goal for this month, and I'm at peace with that. I've had a chance to dig back into a story that's been languishing for a bit, and I'm enjoying that. However, it's definitely revealing some areas of weakness that I hadn't noticed before.

The story started as an urban fantasy setting, but, well, plot needs to be a thing, too. So my plot became a murder mystery, and that's where things got...interesting. I know who did it, and I have a decent idea of how, but I'm having a hard time 1) figuring out why (other than demons, but even demons need motivation) and 2) giving any of this information to the main characters. They're cops, so there are some things they're going to be able to get pretty easily. They're also cops familiar with the more fantastic elements of this world, so that will help. But what ties the victims together and how the cops will figure that out is still, well, a mystery.

I realize that part of this is what happens when I start writing without a complete, firm outline; at the same time, this is part of why I like the hybrid approach of outlining and winging it. Right now, I've just gotten to a point where I'm stuck after winging it for a bit, and I think I'm going to have to go back and outline from here in order to move forward.

Also, I need to decide just how connected the victims need to be. Victims of circumstance or opportunity are part of our world now, where someone's just crossing paths with a murderer because it's Tuesday or what have you. I'm just trying to figure out if that would be a cop-out - there is no connection, everything's random - or if it would be a bit too on the nose to have everything linked. If any of you have opinions on this, please feel free to let me know.

And now, back to writing. Have a good weekend, everyone!