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Posts Tagged ‘whodunnit’

This week I got a good bit of writing done. I did a couple of thousand words on the whodunnit, which took me into a discovery; I worked on some poetry and I finally got back to a Thursday post.

That last one might not sound much but I always feel they are the most useful posts for me to write, because they allow me to grapple with an idea, thought process, decision or discussion and come to some sort of conclusion. From the point of view of my own writing I can see over time if I’ve become too set in my ways, if I’m missing a (writing) trick and so on.

I’m going to try really hard to get a couple done each month now I’m getting used to the change of structure in my life.

In the whodunnit, the body has been found and questions are being raised about exactly who was where and why, when the victim disappeared…. The blame is sweeping towards someone – but are they the guilty party?  Ooh, it’s really a lot of fun writing something so outside my wheelhouse. I have no idea if it’s any good for the genre but it doesn’t really matter because I am learning how to twist a tale, which is the whole point!

In between, the poetry work has continued and I’m choosing my next two to bring up to standard for public performance.  I love this time of year for poetry, somehow the longer days and brighter weather makes writing poetry a little easier.  Perhaps its the sense of light and freedom that means my mind can wander a little more!

In other news – We’ve reached book 81 of the 100 novels list, Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook.  I haven’t read this one but I have to say that Lessing isn’t one of my favourite writers.  I have given up on her books before and about this time last year I nearly did so again so this isn’t one I’ll be seeking out for now.  But who knows, in 10 years time it might really appeal to me 🙂

And finally – In a month I’ll be going on holiday (yay!) but before that we in the UK are facing a prolonged political campaign to see who will become our next government. I wrote last week about wanting to be more political in my writing and I’m going to be testing my abilities by writing about what I see over the next few weeks.  Whether anything worth sharing comes from it I don’t know but it’ll be an interesting exercise is social commentary if nothing else!

Until next time,

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Sorry not to have posted properly yesterday; I was out and I’ll tell you why in a moment.

I was going to download the app for my phone so I could at least do a proper apology post but it wanted to know everything about me and I don’t install apps like that so you just got the scrawl that I could manage…

So – yesterday I went to London with friends to watch a tv show being filmed. We were due to leave about 10pm but it ended up somewhat later: I didn’t actually get home until about 2am, and I uploaded my very brief post getting a burger about 10 minutes away from Waterloo!

The show is going to be on TV next Sunday so I will be carefully watching to see if we catch sight of ourselves. It will be fun to see how much is edited out too.

There were comedians, singers, dancers and a magician, as well as an amazing young pianist – and the tickets were free which was an extra bonus 🙂

I love going up to London. One of my favourite places is the South Bank, and my favourite theatres are clustered between there and Covent Garden, so it was a pleasure to be back.

Anyway, this is all a big diversionary tactic to say although I’ve been up to stuff, that stuff has not been the whodunnit.

On the other hand, I’ve edited some poetry, I’ve been to writing group, I’ve been reading, so at least part of the week was creative.  I am going to accept that and work harder this week to get on with the whodunnit and not lose my flow.

I am going to leave it there for today.  As next Sunday is Easter Sunday and I’ll be away, I hope to post on Saturday instead but if not, it’ll be Monday.  And if it’s Monday, have a happy Easter!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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Three times this week I’ve been amazed we’re in March already – where does time go?

This week I didn’t want to see it slip between my fingers and although a few drops did get away I managed to get a lot done this week. So much so, in fact, that I have about 10 minutes to write this post!

From a writing point of view, the most important aim was to get back on track with my whodunnit and get 3000 words further towards the conclusion. Well, I will tick this one off as completed – I actually came in about 100 words short but we have everything set up for the discovery of the victim, alibis with built-in problems, a breakdown on the way and everyone with a range of motives and unfortunate choices of words.

It’s fun, doing this – if I can just keep on track, and keep building up the story I think I’ll learn a lot about using small details to manufacture misleading strands of stories.

Phew, try saying ‘manufacture misleading strands of stories’ a few times!

Other than writing I’ve had two family events; dance class; gym time; a visit to a charity clairvoyant evening and of course work. Being busy is definitely better than being bored but next week I hope will be a little less frenetic!

The good thing about all this life stuff, of course, is that it inspires many different things, from lines of poetry to scene-setting and character traits.  This week a few things have really struck me and I want to start recording potential character profiles for future use!

I am going to leave in other news for today as it’s gone 11pm and I need to get some sleep soon; however I will take this opportunity to say I’ll set another 3000 word target for this week, which will see me through discovery and the first suspect being identified. This is my favourite suspect so I am looking forwards to getting them into an interrogation!

Until next time,
Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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So much of my time this week has been spent learning and rehearsing other people’s words that I am actually quite proud of the fact my whodunnit is creeping, slowly, longer.

It’s taking much more time than I expected but partway through feeling rubbishy this week I decided just to go for it and get writing, so I at least had something to develop. Wading around thinking about ‘how to’ was really just tying me up in knots.

There’s not much worse for me as a writer than getting bogged down in a planning issue when I don’t commit anything to paper (or in this case computer memory). There’s a mental equation that looks something like this:

0w = 0p><0p = 100%f

No words = no progress. No progress = 100% failure.

I have said many times that upping the word count and producing something of value are not the same thing, but I can’t edit a blank page so at the moment I’ll accept less than perfect writing for something to work with in a few weeks time.

Once I got going I must say that the writing really started to flow and the pages filled quite rapidly. I have a long way to go – and another week of rehearsals followed by three performances so not a lot of time right now – but I do feel better for getting into some sort of writing groove. If I can find even an hour or two this week to keep going I’ll be happy, and once my performing days are over I will be in a position to really get into the nitty-gritty of the plot twisters – and finally learn what I need to learn to get back to the novel!

In other news – listening lunches are back on the menu, so to speak 🙂 My songwriter friend and I are planning a new round of lunches with hopefully a lot of new material. This year I want to do more, push myself more, and achieve more so it’ll be good to start that as soon as panto season is over.  Plus once I get into the editing of the whodunnit I will be happy to have some poetry to break up my time a little.

And finally – I know I am well behind on the 100 novels list but next Sunday, post-panto, I will catch up with a report on those I’ve missed, and (if I remember) a brief report on where I go next with my reading challenge.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I have done a lot of reading this week. Three novels to be precise, by writers separated by a mix of gender, age, nationality and time period.

I compared them, seeing what drew me into them: characters, storylines, ideas, genre, settings all had an impact on my way of perceiving them, and it gave me a chance to think about what skills I need to develop in my own writing.

I was surprised how much the storyline of the third book appealed to me, as it was a crime novel, a modern-style ‘whodunnit’. I have found this genre more enticing over the last year or so, but historically it’s not really been that interesting to me and has never been what I would choose to write.

And yet… I think that might be a great way to get back into the art of writing. To try out a new challenge and a new genre. Not with any intention of getting a full novel or a marketable piece of work from it; more because I want to get myself out of the writing slump I am in right now.

There is something that puts me off completing my current work in progress, a sense that the tangled histories can’t be portrayed effectively using my natural style of writing.  The plot is there, the setting is there, the idea is there – but I am not sure I am able to sell it.  I think exploring a ‘whodunnit’ idea might help me with this block in my approach.  It will allow me to test out ways to mislead and misdirect the reader in a way that commercial fiction doesn’t really allow.

I remember being taught not to introduce ideas or characters that don’t affect story outline but that is precisely where ‘whodunnits’ succeed: they bring in red herrings, lines of enquiry that appear to go nowhere, characters who couldn’t have been the killer.  It is the way their information is used that makes them valuable, and that is the writing skill I want to develop.

So the next few weeks will see me planning a short crime story complete with cast, alibis, motives and of course victim.  If I can get to grips with the filtering of information from unreliable witnesses, untrustworthy narrators and unwilling conspirators I will be ready to go back to the work in progress and make something of it.

And if I can’t, I’ll know I need to consider another approach!

In other news – I am falling behind in the 100 novels list, but suffice it to say I haven’t read 66 or 67.  Now I am exploring the books I inherited I am far more likely to come across obscure and out of print books of the 40s/50s/60s than anything else for a while (just because these are currently the easiest to reach!) I am not going to add to my personal reading list for a while and will simply see where the tales take me!

And finally – with panto rehearsals, my new dance classes, book club and writing group, my evenings are going to be quite busy for the next few weeks, so I am not going to re-start the Thoughts on a Thursday posts yet.  I do, however, hope to get back on track with these once I’ve learnt all my lines and cues for the show.  Having never done any local am dram I may have taken on a bit more than I can chew with this one, but it’s all in good fun…

Happy new year to you all,

EJ

🙂

 

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