Writing the Novel – Developing the Crime

This blog is a way for me to share the experience of writing a novel with anyone who happens upon my posts.  It isn’t meant to teach anyone how to write a novel.  There are plenty of classes by qualified teachers you can attend and of course you can read every single book about writing a novel you can get your hands on, like me. 

I am following a book on how to write a mystery – chapter by chapter – step by step.  The last few days, I spent developing my sleuth.  She is a romance writer who’s career is failing.  Her editor has said they don’t plan to offer her another contract.  Her agent is encouraging her to complete a novel she seems to be struggling with trying to finish. In the meantime, her fiancee dies in the arms of another woman.

My character’s name is Rachel Miller/Rachel St. James.  She chose a pseudonym because she felt her name was too plain. Her motivation is to continue her writing career even though she is feeling blocked with the current project.  Now she is also mad and hurt because  Bradley, her fiancee had obviously been cheating on her.  I do know that Bradley’s death will not be of natural causes, as everyone first assumes and that Rachel will become a suspect in his murder.  That is why she is the sleuth.  She has to solve the mystery as to who killed Bradley and is it the same person who eventually starts threatening her. She is early 30’s and I picture Sandra Bullock as I am writing the story. 

On another note about naming the character.  The book I am using suggested you list 8 qualities this character has and then pick five first and last names that reflect those qualities.  The next step was to go to the internet and google the names.  See how many people have that name.  If there are too many maybe you should pick another name.  The only problem with doing this was that every name I chose was out there, alot.  So in the end, I chose a name that I liked and I thought I would like to spend time with.  If you have any suggestions about naming characters, check in and let me know how you do it.

That is about all I can share with you so far about this character.

Now I am on to developing the crime and victim’s secrets. 

If you want to follow along, you need to develop your premise. If you write it tightly enough, you could use it later as an elevator pitch.  If you don’t know what an elevator pitch is, let me know and I will explain.

By now you should also have created your sleuth (protagonist).  You should know what he/she looks like, his/her background, his/her goals and motivations, and whatever else you think is necessary for you to round out this character.  There are lots of examples of templates either in writing books or on the internet, so find something that you feel will suit your needs.

I will blog after completing each step.  I will never do more than one step per day and I will try to blog at least once a week. I plan to continue blogging about this experience until I have a completed manuscript, through revision and on while I am sending it out. 

Feel free to comment or discuss anything along the way. In the meantime, Happy Writing!


P.S. Next month my author interview is with Kylie Brant.  Find out how a published author writes.  Check out Terms of Attraction – one of Kylie’s novels that comes out this month and then watch for her new Mindhunters trilogy in Sept- Oct- and Nov of this year.

Find future author interviews  blogs in the write a book with me series follow me at www.virginiasviewonnovelwriting.wordpress.com