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Write A Novel with Me – Innocent Suspects Update

Write a Novel with Me – Update

 I am posting so that you know I am still here.  I have been struggling with balancing work and writing, again.  I have to confess that I have also been struggling with this step – developing the innocent suspects. 

 I have decided that maybe I chose my villain a little prematurely.  And because, though I want to share the experience of writing this novel, I may not want to share all of the details because when this master of the mystery genre is completed, I want all of my followers to run to the bookstore and buy it.

 I am still in the middle of this step but I do want to share what I have been doing.  I have also been reading a few how to write books, like Phyllis A. Whitney’s ‘Guide to Fiction Writing’ as well as ‘Bang the Keys’ by Jill Dearman.  One thing I have decided to do is use a book journal.  I am writing down all of my ideas as I go so that I don’t lose them.  That was an idea I picked up from ‘Guide to Fiction’.  I don’t normally journal but I rather liked this idea.

 As far as the innocent suspects, my character Ben, the English professor is now one of those suspects instead of my villain.  I think I’ve come up with a much more interesting villain.  Someone the reader can really fear.  I’ve also discovered that for me to continue developing characters, I had to develop more of my story and that is what has been taking me so long.  It feels like a puzzle that is missing a few pieces and it is driving me crazy.  So I had to step back for a day or two to let it all settle.  While I wasn’t obsessing about it, an exceptional idea came to me.

 Because this is a mystery, that part I can’t share but I can share the process I used to come up with it. I needed a villain who had a grudge against my protagonist, so I devised different scenarios.  Maybe the protagonist was involved with a group of friends who accidentally killed someone after drinking, maybe when the protagonist was a teenager, she was babysitting a child who was kidnapped and later murdered, or at least a bloody garment was found indicating a murder.  Maybe the protagonist was kidnapped along with another child, she escaped but the other child was murdered.  Those are a few ideas that I came up with while I played the what if game.

 Feel free to share some of your ideas with me but don’t tell me what you actually chose to use for your story because I want to be surprised when I read your published story too.

 I plan to post again, this weekend after I have more thoroughly developed the other innocent suspects.  Just know that one of those suspects is the real murderer. 

 I do look forward to hearing from you.  Let me know what is working for you and maybe what isn’t, maybe I can make some suggestions to help you. 

 In the meantime, keep writing.

 Virginia

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2009 in Developing a Story, Write a Novel

 

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Want to Write A Novel – Secondary Characters

If you have been following my blog, you know that the past few days, I’ve been working on secondary characters, specifically victims, because I am writing a mystery.

 The how-to book I am using, suggested that my story have three crimes with three victims, haven’t quite got there yet.  I have two crimes and two victims.

 The first victim came to me when I started developing my original idea.  That victim is my protagonist’s, (sleuth’s) fiancé Brad.  Because these characters don’t have a huge part in the story, I’m not spending as much time developing them that I will on the protagonist (sleuth), antagonist (villain) and some other secondary characters that support the story with possible sub-plots.

 Bradley Morton is 45 years old, 6’ tall, dark hair with distinguished gray temples; he is smart but somewhat smarmy. The protagonist’s friends have thought this every since they first met him.  He cheats on Rachel.  The villain will use him as a pawn to get back at Rachel. Since it will help the story if the victims have secrets, his secrets are that he cheats and gambles and Rachel doesn’t know about it. 

 The second crime is the murder of one of Rachel’s college professors.  He is Benjamin Hollingsworth.  He is 46 years old. (For some reason my protagonist is attracted to older men.) Benjamin is 5’10” tall slender with an almost feminine structure and features.  He likes to dress as a woman and that is his main secret.  He also flirts with the coeds, not necessarily, because he is interested in them but because he likes to check out their beauty secrets.

 Some of his other secrets that may come into the story, or may not are: He resents students who have succeeded where he failed with his writing.  He drinks a lot. He does have a completed manuscript that has made the rounds to lots of publishers.

 As for the crimes themselves, they will both be murders that happen in the bedroom.  The first is Bradley, the fiancé and as I explained before, he will die while with another woman but Rachel will make it look like she was the person he was with, at the time.  It saves her pride until the police discover that he was poisoned.

 Ben’s death will be similar.  Rachel will have had some contact with Ben after Bradley’s death.  He will die while with someone else, but what connects the crime to Rachel is that, that someone will plant a personal item of Rachel’s at the scene.

 I may need to create another crime but for now, I think I will leave it with these two and go on.

 I hope you are having as much fun developing your story and characters as I am.  If you want to give me suggestions or any comments about what we are doing, please do so.  I hope you will continue following my adventure and I really hope you are writing along with me. 

I will be developing a separate page on my blog with the each step we take while writing this novel.  If you are joining me now and want to catch up, that is where you should go.

 Our next step is creating the antagonist (villain). 

 Until next time,

 Virginia

 

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