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My intended next project (which I've discussed previously) is one between two factions at odds, lots of characters, hopefully lots of intrigue, and a mystery.

My idea for the book got more ambitious after I'd already written almost three chapters in first person. So I decided to read (for the fourth time or so) Roger Zelazny's Amber series, which has mystery and intrigue involving many characters, and is written in first person.

It took a while, but I finished that, then my time was taken up on a software development project. While that was going on, I decided to start out on the Harry Dresden series, just to see another first person account, this time with urban fantasy, which my book touches on.

By the way, although I'm not the biggest fan of writers who always have their characters at the bottom of the garbage bin, I am enjoying Dresden, and I'm three quarters of the way through the second book. However, that bleak style might get old, for my tastes, before much longer.

The good news is that I'm back at it, having finished the third chapter left hanging for years, and well into the fourth chapter. I am nowhere near reclaiming my productivity from May on my last novel, but then this one isn't nearly the labor of love, and it is decidedly NOT writing itself, as the last novel did ... well ... most of the time.

Part of the problem is that even though I know the bones of the story, I'm still working out the flow of all these characters into and out of the story, and how my MC will go about his investigation. This is a symptom I see in a lot of fantasy and sci-fi mystery. The writer comes up with an intriguing idea for a mystery, the hero scratches for a place to start, and there seems to be nothing for him to really grasp to GET started. And I think that happens because the writer is exactly where I am ... flailing around for an idea to make the solve not look too easy.

Where does that first clue come from? How is it interpreted to lead to other clues?

I've never written this kind of mystery before. I've had mysteries in my work, but they were developed in the flow of adventure, not the overarching story line.

I think once I crest this first hill in the process, the story will start to flow. Right now I'm stuck with describing rooms, scenery, and character byplay. :) And I think that's OK. Looking at other mysteries, I'm seeing other writers do that while THEY get their solution on track themselves. And I'm talking a few pages here, not mountains of filler. At least, yet. LOL


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