I've been working hard each day this week to find time to do a little work on my writing, even if it's just 15 minutes a day. Doesn't matter what I work on as long as I do something!

Tonight, I started thinking about my next Manziuk and Ryan Mystery. I know what the setting is (decided on that about 10 years ago, and refined it recently :0 ) and I know who the characters are, more or less. But I didn't know who the murder victim is or what the catalytic event that starts the story is or who the murderer is. Until tonight.

Have you ever watched a flower bud open in fast action? Something that usually takes a couple of days to happen is sped up so you see it all in only seconds. That's what happened to me.

As I looked at my characters and tried to think who the victim should be, I suddenly realized that I needed one more character – and that person would be the victim.  And then, in mere seconds, the entire story, from beginning to end, unfurled in my mind and I saw it all. I know the opening of the book and who the victim is and why and which of the other characters has a motive… Very cool! rose

Now all I have to do it write it.

Problem is, at 15 minutes a day, it might take a while. I may have to find a bit more time. I have to write it to find out who actually did it.

June 12, 2009

About the author 

N. J. Lindquist

N. J. Lindquist is the award-winning author of books, articles, short stories, and blog posts. She also edits and publishes the "Hot Apple Cider" anthologies. A former high school teacher, N. J. co-founded The Word Guild and teaches workshops for writers as well as speaking on various topics including creativity and leadership.

  • Actually, as I create the characters, I’ll discover that several of them have excellent motives. After that, at some point I’ll know whodunnit. Could be by the end of the first chapter or the last. One never really knows. I have my suspicions already, though. :

    As to loving one’s characters, I believe that you need to love all your characters, good or bad, in order to make them real. True, there’s an old cliche that says there are some people only a mother could love; but then, I am my characters’ mother. :)

  • Aren’t you glad you didn’t push to write it earlier, before your subconscious was ready?

    Now if you could claim a couple hours a day after Write! Canada to follow the story….

    I’m intrigued by the idea of discovering the killer as you write. It will definitely keep you from unintentional clues in the way you treat him/her, but what if it turns out to be a character you’ve grown to love?

  • It was me! I did it for the money and the power and the fame and the women. And I’d do it again, if he comes back from the dead in a zombie-esque manner. Muah-ha-ha-ha!

  • The fast-action opening of a flower is the perfect analogy for this experience!

    I’m always curious as to what triggers it. It’s fascinating.

    Congratulations! Just imagine if you UPped your writing time to 30 minutes a day, now that the details are falling into place! :-)

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