I’m gathering resources to create some kind of structure checklist for my writing and wanted to share 3 useful lists and concepts I’ve encountered the past week.
In the past few years I have started, but not finished:
- A coming of age story with a strong musical element
- The first mystery in a new series with a rather artistic protagonist
- The first mystery in a new series with a female protagonist
- A Jeeves & Wooster/P. G. Wodehouse-inspired light comedy with a mysterious twist.
They are unfinished, not because they aren’t good, but because I didn’t know how to make the last 1/3 (or 1/2 or 2/3) as good as what was already written.
Not because I don’t know how to use words. Never been a problem. I was reading at college level when I started Kindergarten back in the Jurassic Era.
What I didn’t know was, once you start building a bridge of story from over here and it spans half the chasm, how do you keep it from collapsing into the ravine until you can make it land over there?
In other words, what is the structure of a story?
What that means is I made sure that others knew how smart I was, and if someone knew something I didn’t, it was intimidating so I avoided them.
These days I like to go stand next to the smartest person in the room. And learn from them.
I was born precisely 9 months after Raymond Chandler died.
Perhaps there was only room for one of us at a time.
Perhaps that’s a stretch.
His books are what made me want to write. It took me ages to get a bunch of business books under my belt and develop the courage to try mysteries.
I am particularly proud of my latest effort, A Long, Hard Look. It has been compared to Chandler, though once again, modesty (fear?) forces me to wonder if it’s a stretch.
I call what I write “Chandleresque cozies.” … more … “Who’s Your Mentor?”