“Murder, Theatre, Solitaire” Update

The fourth revision of MTS is well underway. This is a “read out loud” revision. I think a cozy mystery such as this is probably best served with sentences that are shorter and faster than much of my other writing, so I’m listening carefully to diction and such.

I just have to make sure I don’t edit out any of the clues!

I have one or two concepts I need to research for accuracy. I feel confident that I’ve gotten them right, but I want to be sure, because science. There isn’t much straight up science in the story, but if I mention it, i want to get it right, or at least structure it in a manner ambiguous enough to not be flat out wrong.

There are also some places where I want to foreshadow something more so than I have done so far. I of course don’t want give away the store too early.

Editing and revising a mystery novel feels different than doing so for Flowers of Dionysus. No doubt part of it is that I am now more experienced. Plus my first novel was a fantasy, and this is a murder mystery. But what is it about a murder mystery that makes the process seem so different?

All stories are to a degree, a web. Even if told in chronological order, aspects and scenes touch each other in more than one way. That was certainly true for Dionysus, even though the events were told “in order.” The events of MTS are also told in order, but because of the nature of the genre, a lot more has to touch on multiple angles and possibilities, some of which are not clear until near the end. (As any good mystery should be.) Revising my first novel was like folding a paper airplane. Revising a mystery is like folding an origami bird; every crease takes on more responsibility to the whole, so I have to be tighter.

The analogy isn’t perfect, but it’s the closest I can come.

I’m also playing around, in a very broad sense, with designing my own e-cover. I know, most people are against that, and it may come to pass that I give up on the process, and rely on someone else once more. But everything is getting done earlier in the process this time, and I have plenty of time between now and my planned launch in June to mess around and see what I can do, and still have time to get bailed out as needed by someone who knows what they are doing.

Right now, I am maybe a fifth of the way through the book in this revision. I think only one more after this should suffice. Two on the outside.

 

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