I’m trying to work on the fourth book in my Fiddling With Murder cozy mystery series, and the characters are not cooperating.
“What happens next?” I ask them, when they’re all assembled in my head for the day’s work.
They look a little uneasy, glance at one another, shuffle their feet, swallow hard. Then one of them says: “YOU are the author. Uh, aren’t you supposed to tell us?” sigh.
Ok. Blaming it on the characters is a cop-out. Plotting is the hardest thing in my writing. (Marketing and selling almost make plotting look easy, but that’s another story and thorn for a shy person writer.) Sometimes the characters do help things along. If I know the character, knowing his or her reaction to any given problem comes easily. The problem with this book seems to be figuring out what problems are going to come at them.
But wait… Doesn’t this happen every time? I need to write a note to remind me of that fact and pin it on the wall in front of my computer. Then I need to remember: “Be patient. Be persistent. Believe.”
More than one person has compared writing a book with giving birth. Writing also takes waiting and discomfort and waiting and long, hard labor, but when you hold your “baby” in your hands, you forget the problems and hard work. Maybe that’s what’s going on this time. All my books have been this hard. I always wonder if I’m ever going to get through another one.
Be patient. Be persistent. Believe.
Yep. Gotta remember that.