Momentary Lapses

This blog was created during a momentary lapse, a period when I'm stuck in my writing and trying to jog something loose in my brain or push myself so close to deadline that I can kill, without remorse, the beloved opening or headline or quote that is keeping me from moving forward. Most of my posts here will have to do with writing, including occasional Favorite Writing Quotes (FWQs). Please share yours, and your comments, too.

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Sunday, October 01, 2006

About the Hat

Yup, that's me wearing the mystery-writing hat my son gave me for Christmas last year. So far, it's served as an ice-breaker at writers' events, concealed the evidence of a bad hair day, and kept my head dry on a rainy walk to Kate's Mystery Books in Boston. My goal is to wear it, at least in spirit, for some part of every day as I wrestle with the draft of my first mystery novel.

Writing Update: Yesterday I sent off the revised manuscript of a short story, "Deceptions & Desires," for a one-on-one critique by a published mystery writer at the New England Crimebake. The submission was restricted to 15 pages, and that limit helped me refine my draft. The biggest decision I had to make: Get rid of the opening line that had been the genesis for the story in the first place. Yes, it was intriguing, but it also gave away a plot turn and was forcing me to start the story with a prolonged flashback to the events that came before that part of the story. Once it was gone, I was able to introduce my first-person narrator, Cape Cod Detective Jeff Jenner, in a more detailed and natural fashion. (Yes, he's getting up in the morning, but only because he's been called to a crime scene. No tooth-brushing or ruminating on the night before involved.)

Lesson Learned: Limits can help you stretch your writing skills.


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