3 Reasons I love writing murder #mondayblogs #amwriting #SherlockHolmes

It has been a great writing week here in Southern California. I was finally able to return to writing on my work-in-progress The Valley of Fear, which is the third in the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson mystery series. I made it my goal to complete Chapter Three, and it was rough! The book had been waiting so long while I rewrote and edited and re-edited Till Darkness Comes (my lesbian thriller) that I’d forgotten how to pick it up again. When I sat down to the computer to work on it (in Scrivener), I re-read it, edited the first two and a half chapters, and then …. crickets. Not one word would come.

I got up, got a pen and paper and went to the dining room table. I did a mind map until one of the circles spoke to me, and bingo. I was able to start writing. I did the same the next day and the next, and the chapter is finished. Now I’m at work on Chapter Four, same technique.

And after I write, I feel so good! Here’s why:

  1. Describing a crime scene makes me picture the set in great detail.
  2. Describing a murder give me vicarious feelings on behalf of my characters: fear, excitement, revenge, satisfaction, and sometimes I’m also grossed out.
  3. I learn something new every time. And sometimes what I learn brings personal growth.

Let me explain the last one. My entire life I carried around two stories from my childhood in which I saw myself as the victim. Then I used both stories in a novel. In writing them I saw things differently. Now I see I was the bully in the story. What a shock. A tiny bully, but the perpetrator nevertheless.

I was lucky I didn’t spend my childhood in the girls’ equivalent of Boys Town. (Believe me, my mom threatened to send me away plenty of times. For no reason I could see at the time. Now I wonder, did she know me better than I thought?)

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2 thoughts on “3 Reasons I love writing murder #mondayblogs #amwriting #SherlockHolmes

  1. That’s so interesting about how writing something can provide perspective. It happened to me when I was writing the Alice blog. I thought I was clearly the victim in one specific matter, but when she told (and then I wrote) what it was like for her, everything shifted. Ah life. One way or another, if we pay attention, the truth will out.

  2. Yes, I love when it happens. I’m almost always surprised. Like this situation where I thought for more than 65 years that I was the victim. In fact, it was these two stories that made me think I could write a thriller. Like what if when these things happened to me, I’d gone on to be even more violent, more vengeful. Glad I turned out to be a writer instead!

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