Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Warning! The free book contest ends today! I'll hopefully be posting an interview with author Joanna Campbell Slan tomorrow, and will announce the winner at the same time. Last chance to enter!

Thinking of writing. My class ended this week! As you might have noticed, I'm working on my first mystery novel ever. I've been working on it for several months, and it's begun to seem . . . silly and obvious to me. Won't it be immediately obvious to everyone?!

The instructor has read my first few chapters and my complete outline. In response to the outline, he said that he was worried that "it seems a bit complex." As in - it is not a good thing to confuse your readers.

I say, hooray! Not silly and obvious, then. Perhaps I've come up with a clever plot. Now I just need to work hard to keep it clear and not confusing. But my characters are supposed to be very smart, clever people. I prefer the challenge of making a complicated mystery accessible than trying to make a simple mystery - well - mysterious. And interesting.

My story involves a little technology (but only the fun bits) and one of the characters is a Luddite, so there's plenty of opportunity for explaining and re-explaining the tricky parts. I was a little worried about page count and coming in short. Now I know I should have plenty of material. It's all good!

I've enjoyed the Gotham Writing Workshop experience, and I expect that I'll do it again. I'm taking the next session off to concentrate on my writing, though. These are mostly 10 week courses, and every week there's a lecture to read, a discussion about the lecture, an optional chat room session with the class, a homework writing assignment, and other students' submissions to critique. For each 4000 word classmate submission, I put in at least an hour of work on the critique, and there were 2-4 of them to complete each week.

All that learning and critiquing is great practice for my own work, but it also cuts into my available time for writing. So I'm looking forward to having some work time during the evenings again, in addition to my 5 beautiful, wonderful, unassailable coffee shop daylight hours.

Which resume tomorrow. So, good night!

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