So…I’ve been writing. Writing and not like one bit of what I wrote. There has been 3-4 starts for the mystery but none of them feel…well, right? I had to step away from it for a bit to finally come to a conclusion: I was writing it wrong.
I was writing my character straight to the murder. With that and the pacing, I would have had a short book with just seven chapters within the covers. A good mystery, in my opinion, doesn’t have the Sleuth come at a murder head-on. The Sleuth finds himself stumbling into the story sideways, finding the Victim’s body while dealing with something else. Now that he has found the body what does he do? Call the cops? Find/Take a clue? Hide because it sounds like the Killer is still around? What?!
Also, what was the Sleuth doing there? Was he/she coming to meet the Victim about something? If so, what? If not, how did the body end up there? Questions like these help flesh out the story more and gives it more dimension. It was sorely missing that in the previous tries.
So, with a new perspective on the murder mystery, I have decide to start fresh. Also, since it only a couple of days until November, I figure I would give NaNoWriMo a try again. If you are interested in trying to write a novel in a month, I would suggest finding a writing buddy and giving it a try.
In a Nutshell
I was doing research for the murder mystery when I stumbled upon some items, and the person behind them, online. I figure I would share.
If you never heard of Frances Glessner Lee, I wouldn’t blame you. I only know of her because of, well…she made these amazing dollhouse-styled dioramas. Each perfectly designed and crafted by hand, her 18 dioramas are considered valuable teaching tools to this day. “What do the dioramas scenes depict?”
In each of the 18 dioramas that Frances Glessner Lee made in the 1940’s, a crime scene is on display. Each is an exact detail to the original crime scene they are based on, with the scale being 1 inch to 1 foot. Scenes filled with grizzly deaths where bloody dolls, weapons, and working doors and windows laid within. One diorama is a beautiful recreatation of a cabin that she then lit on fire with a blowtorch to get right degree of burnt the cabin was found in!
She would host a conference at the Harvard Associates in Police Science, a national organization for the furtherance of forensic science, (which she endowed) and have crime scene investigators have a look at one diorama for 90 minutes and see what conclusion they can draw from it. These were called the “Nutshell Studies”. This is still being done to this day.
Frances Glessner Lee revolutionized the study of crime-scene investigations. She also lobbied for coroners to be medically trained professionals. She started this career at the age of 52, in 1930 after her brother died because he strongly discouraged her to follow an unladylike profession. A profession of forensic science which was still in its infancy then.
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
I’ve decided to start tracking my writing years. This is different than a calendar year or a fiscal year or what have you. It starts on November 1 and runs through until the following Halloween. The start date is one that might not mean anything this year, but in the last several years has…
This man is not only a great writer, but he is also a great friend that is keeping me focus and honest on my writing.