So I had a post all written whining about how hard it is to write mysteries and how it causes me so much stress that it makes my chest tight so I can’t get air in my lungs … see what I did there? I can whine AND hit our theme … but I trashed it. I decided to mix a few metaphors, pull up my big girl undies and go high, like Michelle Obama suggests.
I’m almost finished with the first draft of a new humorous cozy manuscript. It’s the second in a series of three, perhaps more if I’m lucky. The first is already in the hands of my editor to be published in Fall 2017.
I write first drafts fairly quickly because I outline. This one will have taken me about twenty days. It’ll be just under 200 pages, 60k words or so, but it’ll be bare bones.
It will tell the complete story, but it won’t have the right words, or evocative description, or ground you in setting, or offer those telling details that make a character memorable. And goodness knows, it ain’t funny.
In short, it won’t have any atmosphere.
Right now it just has words. Boring, utilitarian words.
Whenever I get to this point I succumb to a bit of jealousy of high fantasy writers, or dark thriller writers, or historical fiction wonks. It seems to me it’s so much easier to convey a memorable atmosphere that readers want to curl up in when you’re not writing funny, present day, suburban stories.
After all, that’s where most of us live every day. What’s so cool about that?
I’m convinced it’s harder to evoke a mysterious atmosphere in the hum-drum present day in middle America than it would be in 1809 London … or on Arrakis with Maud’dib … or even in St Mary Mead.
What do you think? Is it easier or harder to layer in evocative atmosphere in cozies than in other genres?