Hoookay. I've been working on my murder mystery for over a year, now. I'll admit it's really hard to write a genre you've only just admired and enjoyed reading, but haven' a clue (pun intended), as to how to go about it. I think I've been floundering every few steps, and have had to go back and rewrite about every other day. It is that old adage, writing is like driving in the dark with one headlight. Maybe a fog has descended here and there, and you can't even see the road--in my case.
But, I'm making progress. And just to share this with you, when you're reading through a manuscript and come upon something you've written--like dialogue, or a scene you just aren't exactly sure about, you question: "Would he say/do this?", then maybe you should reconsider that scene and pause and look around at other books with such a scene--or go to many places you might have on "How To Write" (I've kept old articles/magazines from Writer's Digest, etc to help me in times like these). I do this, but when I got to a specific thing in my murder mystery, I was stalled because no How-to-write article/blog is going to hit anything specific. Usually they tell you how TO write it. Not what you're doing WRONG. If you don't see that deer in your headlights, how do you know you've gotta stop???
Then, yesterday, I was poking around at a site called Poison Pencil--publisher based out of Scottsdale, AZ. I was actually trying to find out if they were accepting submissions. They weren't, but I happened along a blog by Ellen Larson, editor of Poison Pencil (which has mysteries, and specifically YA mysteries, which is what mine is) and I read portions of this blog. I found out what she finds in manuscripts that cause her to return them to the author, rejected.
Yeah. My history of rejection is, shall we say, not quite as huge as many authors, including JK Rowling, S. King, etc., but it was enough to make me quit submitting to any agent, or publisher long ago. (I have had 2 publishers, and the present has been working out just fine.) Here she tells the reader exactly what she doesn't want to see. And a few things she brought up had me going "Oh, shit. I did that." So, I'm working on rewrites. AGAIN!!!
But there was something else I found at this sight that had me thinking, "This isn't very impressive at all for a publisher's site." You will see if you go to their Young Adult Mystery Books, and click on any book. When you do [I'll wait], you'll find that you can't BUY any of these books from this site. And I thought hummmm... That's really sort of discouraging for anyone who might be interested in one of their books.
Compare Poison Pencil's site, to my publisher Creativia . Their site is so much better, with more places to discover/meet all authors and if you go to the "Meet" section, you can hit on any author, see their books and (as an example, mine), find their books and BUY them! How convenient is that?
So, if there is a lesson to learn here, it might be "the grass isn't any greener elsewhere".
So... I'm working on the rewrites, and especially the Prologue I'd written. Seems I need to push the timing of the Prologue back a bit in where to start it. But this is good. I'm catching stuff that needs to be fixed. There might be another saying applied here: "When in doubt, take it out".