Monday, July 10, 2006

What You Know?

"Don’t write what you know—what you know may bore you, and thus bore your readers. Write about what interests you—and interests you deeply—and your readers will catch fire at your words." ---Valerie Sherwood

I love reading a good mystery. My brain thrives on them. I love watching them on TV, although it drives hubby crazy because I can usually figure it out by the end. I try to keep my mouth shut, but that isn't one of my strong points.

I'm trying to write a mystery. Reading them is much easier.

I know nothing about crime-solving protocol, and I already made a boo-boo in my first few pages. I've written enough that I felt confident about starting to post to my crit group. One person (*waves at Judy*) said that in a small town, the sheriff would probably call in the state investigation team because of a lack of local forensics ability. Oddly, the book I had just picked up takes place in a little podunk town, and starts with a murder... and one of the first things out of the sheriff's mouth was, "Call in the staties."

Gee... you mean they wouldn't keep a fully functional forensics lab even though there hasn't been a murder in town for the past ten years? Grr...

I'm a serious perfectionist and that really bugs me. And I'm terrified of other mistakes I'll make -- certain that there will be more. It's made it hard for me to move forward, but I'm trying.

Another issue was pointed out as being weak and fairly unbelievable as well, but I got some really great suggestions from two other wonderful people (*waves at Charity and Darcy*) and I think that part is fixable. Thanks you guys for putting up with my panic attack :-)

Just another day in a wannabe published writer's life.


Judy said...

Hi, M ::waves back:: This is what first drafts are for. Even with the plotting I'm doing, I know there are going to be things that come up and say... ", that won't work because..." Or there will be flaws in logic. It's the great thing about having a group you can go to that will look at things fresh. AND, all the things you mentioned have easy fixes. Even if the state police are called in, imho, any sheriff worth his salt is going to want to work in the case himself... and, that could easily cause another form of sub-plot conflict, depending on how the state police are. And....hmmmm... he might be able to befriend a particularly attractive member of the forensics team to get information he might not normally receive and that could cause more conflict (misunderstood, of course) in his relationship with Laurie and..... hmmmmmm... possibilities abound!

Tori Lennox said...

I love that quote, Marianne!

I'm trying to write a mystery. Reading them is much easier.

You are not kidding! I keep wondering what on earth possessed me to even try.

I shudder to think of all the mistakes that are in my 1920s murder mystery. There seems to be a dearth of info online (my primary research tool *g*) about the Los Angeles police department in 1925. Or at least not the info I need. I may have to break down and join their historical society.

MaryF said...

I so can't write one. And I never figure them out on TV.