NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Perils of Constance

When last I blogged here, two months ago, I bemoaned the fact that my work-in-progress had gone off the rails and was hurtling down the embankment toward the river.

I’ve learned in life that if you whine and complain enough, people will help you, if only to shut you up. :-)

So I got a lot of good advice from many good writers: stuff that worked for them, or that they’d heard had worked for other writers (hey—beggars can’t be choosers).

Just to recap, the premise of the story was that an A’lle ship had crash-landed in what is now southern Quebec three hundred years ago. Society is growing accustomed to these aliens in their midst—they look very human-like, but are just different enough to be unsettling. Still, there is an ultra-religious faction that believes the A’lle have no souls and represent a serious threat to the souls of all God-fearing humans. In 1911, Constance is the first A’lle investigator, part of the constabulary of St. Vincent, and she is investigating the murder of another A’lle.

There I was, nearing the end of the story when I realized I was forcing myself to put words down and worse, I was bored. Not good. SO not good.

So with all that good advice in mind, I went back to the beginning and started rereading. Sure enough, I found the kink in the rail—and how appropriate was it that it happened to be *on* a train, while Constance was on her way to Montreal with her boss, the chief investigator? I suddenly realized that while she was off following a lead, the bad guy would be doing something, too: he would be trying to prevent her from doing her job.

Now I’ve picked up Constance’s story again and the push-pull of showing the antagonist’s needs and the actions he takes to resolve his needs is making all the difference.

So thanks, eh. Good advice, from good writers, and now Constance’s story is back on track, full speed ahead.

Okay, I’m done with the train metaphors.

11 comments:

Toni Anderson said...

I love it when the story clicks. Or why the story isn't working clicks. Always makes me feel like such a fool and genius all at the same time :)

MaureenAMiller said...

I'm so glad Constance is on the move again, and that she did not take a plane. You can survive a derailing. A plane crash...

There is nothing like that moment, though, when you sit back and go, "A-hah! Why didn't I think of that?"

Rita said...

Woot for Constance. So glad she's on the right trach now!

Wendy Soliman said...

No, I refuse to say I'm glad your story's no longer derailed. See, I didn't say it and I look forward to meeting Constance.

Cozy in Texas said...

I'm fortunate that I belong to a great critique group who help me if it isn't working.
Ann

Marcelle Dubé said...

Toni and Maureen -- it's the best feeling, isn't it? That *aha!* moment?

Thanks, Rita and Wendy!

Ann, a good critique group is worth its weight in gold.

Sorry I was so late in replying, everyone. Just got back from two weeks away.

Wynter Daniels said...

Yay. I've had similar experiences. It's definitely a sign when the writer is bored! Congrats on getting Constance on the right track again!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks, Wynter. It was a huge relief, I must admit.

Shirley Wells said...

I love that moment, Marcelle, and I'm delighted to hear Constance is, um, back on track. Looking forward to reading her story.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Thanks, Shirley!

Clare London said...

Excellent news, to hear things are back on track! Sometimes that's what it needs, to step away for a moment and regroup. And Hurrah for the group, helping out :).

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