I’ve finished 3 mysteries, with a solid first draft of a fourth and half a draft of another. The first, Through the Fog, was a solo project, a lark, a few years ago. This year, I got more serious with A Long, Hard Look and dug a little deeper for Into the Fog, the second of my foggy Irish mysteries.
The first editing note Tom Bentley sent regarding Into the Fog mentioned that its protagonist sounded a lot like the chap in A Long, Hard Look.
All I could think was, wait ’til he reads anodyne.
All three protagonists (wait; there’s a fourth, a woman) speak with my voice. There are subtle differences, but I’ve made the mistake of allowing my writer’s voice to overwhelm these characters’ individuality.
They’re all too much me. I guess I have so many faces I want to use them all. But that’s confusing for readers.
O woe is me. How to fix?
Tom’s first suggestion sounded familiar. That’s because I’ve been recommending it to my business coaching clients since before I wrote The Commonsense Entrepreneur in 2008.
This is why we hire others: so they can help us see, over here, what we’ve been doing for 6 long years over here.
Most folks dislike being interrupted. Finding your place in that column of figures you were adding. Wondering whether you were just about to add the salt, or just added the salt. Might as well start the joke over from the beginning because you aren’t sure where you left off.
With a non-fiction book, momentum is a good idea. With fiction, it’s vital. One reason to write every day, even a few sentences, is to keep the story rolling in your mind. The thread of story, the creative process, is tenuous at times. We’ve all experienced the brilliant thought we were sure we’d remember but which evaporated, leaving only a stain.