How NOT to Begin a Mystery Novel

  1. Wait until time is right: may involve anything from planets aligning to appearance of benefactor yearning to fund your writing endeavors.
  2. Start Pinterest board to keep inspirational writing quotes in one place.  Spend far too much time flailing about in sea of quotes and laughing at LOLcats.
  3. Delay action until confidence blossoms into bouquet of fearlessness.
  4. Browse shelves of local bookstore, vowing to figure out how those authors managed to do it.  End up spending $200 on novels to read immediately.
  5. Determine that you will begin novel when desk is perfectly organized.  Find self at Home Depot picking out shelving systems and paint colors for turning guest room into tranquil writing oasis.
  6. Center the words “Chapter One” on a blank page.  Type nothing else, ever.
  7. Be daunted by need for introduction so compelling that agents and publishers will instantly offer you a contract.
  8. Click every writing-related link posted on Facebook and Twitter.  Enter internet dimension where all other people seem to have just published a novel. Wonder if the world really needs another one, namely yours.
  9. Spend a few weeks researching forensic procedures.  Decide break is required because: gross.
  10. Watch many hours of reality TV.  Because those are some good story structures right there.

This public service announcement brought to you courtesy of my own epic failures.  Finally discovered that committing to the work of novel-writing itself was far more soul-satisfying than any of the things above.  Except reality TV.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

ps: For How to Keep Writing A Novel, please see Mr. Neil Gaiman’s wonderful pep talk.

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13 thoughts on “How NOT to Begin a Mystery Novel”

  1. 11. Spend too much time reading/writing blogs about writing, what to write, what not to write.
    12. Spend too much time in an attempt to compose (hopefully) witty comments on blogs about writing, what to write, what not to write.

    Note to Self: That “X” button at the upper right corner of your browser… See that, Ivane? Yeah… that. Click it and start writing your novel. NOW. (Or right after you click the Post Comment button.)

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  2. Funny. The irony is if you are sitting down, butt in chair, every day, at least five days a week, WRITING then some of these other things are helpful/inspirational — in small doses only. But they have to be done AFTER the writing.

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  3. 13. Decide to start book after developing a huge platform/fan base via FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Tumblr, Google+ and every Yahoo group with the word “mystery” or “book” or “death” in the title.

    LOVED this post! Unfortunately, I can relate to far too many of them, including Ivane’s additions. FOK/BIC just seems too easy to be the “true” way to write a book.

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  4. Judy H, congrats on your novel! Thanks for your comment and best wishes on the next one!
    Kristi, yes! We can do them…afterwards.
    Judy A., thank you for coming by!
    Mary, I know what you mean. There’s always something else to do. We have to be strong warrior type writer people and, um, ignore the other things. 😉
    Pamela, thanks! It’s hard to avoid some of them, that’s for sure.
    Theresa, ha!
    Donna, most excellent addition…

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