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Mysteries – How do we plot them?

I’m writing a novel. Oh, yes. Just like everyone else.

My novel is a hybrid of mystery and thriller. There is a mystery at the core of the story, but there’s a lot of action before it’s solved. Like all good mysteries, the plot needs to take the reader to different places before the mystery is revealed. The plot needs to be good enough that even the most astute mystery reader can’t guess where it’s going.

I think I need to put together a "plot line." Something that shows me the main mystery, several subplots that lead to nothing, and the final revelation. I’ve decide to use a process map to do that.

Business process mapping is a tool that people use to figure out the processes that are in place at companies. Using this method, repetitive steps are revealed, along with places where there is no process. It’s visual which is easy for me to follow.

I’ve just bought a book about plotting. When it arrives, I’ll settle in for a good read. Until then, I’ll create my "plot line."

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Placed in short story contest

I won second place in a short story competition! Woo hoo!!

This story is a flash fiction piece named Of Spiders and Monsters. The theme for the contest was “snowbound.” Since the magazine is all about science fiction, fantasy, and horror (with fantastic elements), I wrote about what a human mind does during extreme isolation.

You can read the story here:   Electric Dragon Cafe

Let me know what you think – leave a comment.

Writing and submitting

This blog is the ongoing account of my writing career. Coming to this career later in life – I’m no eighteen year old wonder – it’s both easier and harder than I thought it would be.

For me, the easy part is coming up with story ideas. The hard part is creating the vessel to carry the story to readers.

The hardest part of all is submitting my work to publishers or contests. Will they like what I wrote? Is it valuable to them? Or am I without a single ounce of talent? 🙂

Slowly but surely, I’m learning that the story one person loves is the story that another hates. It’s all a matter of personal taste. That’s as true of editors and publishers as it is of the person on the street. We like what we like.

Join me as I tell about my experiences – fear, joy, sorrow, pain, embarrassment, frustration, etc. – as I travel the writer’s road.