Saturday, August 14, 2010

Now I Have to Kill Someone

Like Peter, I am starting a new book right now, though I am still in the pondering stages and haven't begun putting words on the page. I usually have to spend a couple of weeks cogitating first, maybe a few days doing some preliminary research.

I never know what the entire story will be before I begin. I learned early on that you may think you have it all figured out, but you don't. However, in all my previous mysteries, I at least had a murder in mind before I actually began writing. I knew who was going to meet his or her doom and how, where the body was going to be discovered and by whom. I usually knew who did the deed, though I'm flexible about that. Before I start, I always think I know why the killer did it, but to date, by the time I reach the end I discover I was wrong. The motive seems get modified every time.

For the nascent Book Six, I know which characters will be involved, I know where the story will be set, what the season will be, what historic events will unfold, what the side stories will be. But I haven't yet discovered a body!

A murder mystery isn't really about the murder, of course. It's about the mystery. But without a murder, it's mighty hard to create the mystery. Not long ago, I told someone she should "trust the process" with her writing. Even if you don't know where the story is going to go, just start writing and trust that all will become clear as you go along. Have faith that the answer will provide itself when the moment comes. Apparently the time has come to take my own advice.

In fact, even as I type these words, an idea begins to form like a ghostly fog in the back of my mind. So if you'll excuse me, I'll be off. I have to kill someone.

Before I go, I'm very glad to report that my very special guest blogger tomorrow will be the New York Times best-selling author of Interred With Their Bones and Haunt Me Still, the lovely Jennifer Lee Carrell. Don't miss her.


peter_may said...

Good luck with the book, Donis

Donis Casey said...

Thanks, and same to you, Peter

Charles Benoit said...

Trust the process, yes, but part of the process is having a clear idea where you're heading. If your past books are any indication, you'll get there just fine.

Donis Casey said...

I appreciate your faith in me, Charles. In truth, I usually do have an epiphany somewhere along the way.

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