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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Show Me the Body

This spring I shared a short mystery story I've been working on for years with the South Shore Writers Group. I've never been happy with the ending. Any of them. One comment in particular redirected my focus and helped me bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. I guess it's the mystery writer's "Jerry Maguire" nugget: "Show me the body."

In the discussion that followed, I realized it wasn't the literal body of a victim that was so important to the woman making the comment, but for her to feel a more immediate connection to the crime, to be a witness of sorts. Too much of the crime was revealed in dialogue between my cop characters.

I reworked the ending--again--and "Nuisance Call" has been accepted by Level Best Books for the next anthology, "Still Waters." My lesson learned: Show me the Body. Anyone else have lessons to share?