Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

More editing done on Scylla and Charybdis - well, that's been the case pretty much every week, but this week I banged through a scene I keep dithering about removing. It's a word-game tournament, which Anaea enters on a whim, and which has unexpected consequences in the following chapter ... but a whole chapter of this, even though I keep trimming the events, still seems excessive.

As for mystery project, I've just encountered the reason why I had pondered waiting until later in my character-building to do my main characters: my entries get longer by bits and bobs as I go on. The entry for the prince - who is a semi-major character - is about as long as the entry for the apprentice, who is the main character's sidekick (more or less ...). I don't know whether it's momentum or shifting moods as I work.

I put this question up on my writerly Facebook, and I'll repeat it here. For those of you who read mysteries, a quick poll. Which do you prefer:

1. Books where the murder happens in the first pages (if not on the first page) and the murder is the immediate focus.

2. Books where the murder happens later on (but still early), giving the reader time to identify with the victim, while some connected plot thread provides the tension.

Or ... it doesn't matter as long as it's good. ;-)

I've already decided which way I'm taking my project - just curious.

7/14 - 7/20
Word count: 873 (oy ... ouch)


Cherie Reich said...

For mysteries, I prefer the murder as soon as possible. I like finding out clues about the victim and how the "detective" is solving the case based on these clues.

But in the end, as long as it is good, it probably doesn't matter too much. Although it sometimes makes me wonder what's going to happen if there is no murder at the beginning in a murder mystery.

Lindsey Duncan said...

This kind of comes up because of Ellis Peters' The Leper of Saint Giles, where it takes about 80 pages (in a 200 page book) for the victim to die. ;-) I'd not want to go that far, in any case.