A sleuth who can’t stand violence?

Writing notes:

It’s funny that I’m trying to write a mystery novel because 1) I detest violence and 2) I have a very sunny, make everything good personality.   Maybe I should be writing Romance?

So I have to force myself to add conflict to my scenes.  For instance, when my innocent main character is hauled off to jail for murder, everything at the prison was “much better than he expected.” Egads, that won’t do.  So today I rewrote the jail scene to make it bad bad bad.  No, he doesn’t get a single cell.  No, the other cellmates don’t just ignore him.  No, the food is not good and his mother can’t come see him.

I am thinking that my accused man turned sleuth can also detest violence and I’m planting a “make everything good” character to channel those thoughts into.

I’m also struggling with my gay main character. I don’t want it to be a “gay” novel, but I want it just to be part of his many other characteristics.  I’m not sure how much homosexuality mainstream American mystery readers are ready to accept in their main characters.  I don’t want to “hetero wash” it either.  And yes, his homosexuality does play a role in the outcome.

I clocked in four whole hours today- 630-1030.  It was a little hard getting started, my mind kept wandering from my fingernails to the overlook and back.  Luckily, there were very few distractions (a good day to have no internet) with only four tourist cars pulling up and three nene geese flying over.

Setting notes:  The parking lot at Kilauea overlook was washed cleaned this morning, evidence of rain shining in the glowing morning sun.  Water droplets shimmered in the grass and shrubs.  A spider web, bejeweled by raindrops, glimmered.  The SO2 plume continued to pump out white fluffy clouds toward the Southwest.

This week: four hours each day!


4 thoughts on “A sleuth who can’t stand violence?”

  1. to ramp up conflict….can you use a child’s or adolescent’s perspective to perceive conflict? I see a lot of conflict in the day to day with my demanding, illogical, and adorable children!

  2. I have some of the same issues with my writing. In real life, I try super hard to avoid and reduce conflict, so I have to force myself to ramp the conflict up to uncomfortable levels when I’m writing.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what people will think of the main character’s sexuality yet. That’s probably something you can worry about in the second draft. I think it’s best to write the first draft as though you’re the only reader it’s being written for.

    And kudos for getting four hours of writing in!

    1. Thanks for writing! I was hoping to get some writing conversations going.
      I am on the second draft..summer of revision…but I am trying to be the only reader…
      Do you have any good “ramping up the conflict” prompts?

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