Along with a brief progress report on the 7th book in my Crooked Lake Mysteries series, I wanted to share some of the writing challenges that have emerged. I’m well past the half way point, although it’s only a draft and I may want to make changes.
Titles Can Be Tricky
Strange as it may seem, my biggest problem at the moment is that I don’t have a title. Ideas, yes, but nothing I’m completely happy with. Titles can be tricky. Several that have occurred to me have already been used by other authors. Titles can’t be copyrighted, so I’m not worried about being sued. But I’d like to be original, and I want to make sure the title captures something important about the plot. Perhaps by the time the sheriff and professor are closing in on the killer I’ll have a brainstorm. I sure hope so!
The Challenge of Writing the Professor In
Writing challenges aren’t limited to titles alone. For example, my plot unfolds in the early spring, when the weather is typically cold on Crooked Lake. Problem: Kevin is busy down in the city (remember, he’s a professor of music there). I have to find a way to get him up to the lake to help Carol solve this latest murder. I scratched my head over this one for awhile before I figured out how to do it. My own experience as a former college teacher and administrator helped me. I won’t spoil the story by telling you how I managed to bring Kevin back to the lake when he should be in the classroom. Suffice it to say that fate, circumstances, and a bit of special pleading all conspire to let him become Carol’s crime solving partner once again.
The Challenge of Bringing a Suspect Back
I have made it a point to create a separate and distinctive cast of characters when writing each of my books (with the exception of Carol and Kevin). But for some reason I had an urge in book seven to allow one of the suspects in an earlier mystery to reappear and once again become a suspect. I’ll let loyal readers guess who that could be, and I’m not divulging whether he is guilty this time or not. The writing challenge lies in trusting the story as it emerges and making each choice work for my readers too.