But not the kind that I read and review. Other mysteries, specifically:
1. Why is it that NOW I’m able to see all the things that need tightening up, expanding, revising, etc., on my first mystery? It’s been done, complete, finito for a couple of years.
I’d shopped it around to agents, many of whom said nice things, but ultimately passed. Is it the economy? The tightening up of the market? The fact that Janet Evanovich completely occupies the funny-mystery niche? Or was it… duh.duh.dum… that it was only 62,000 words long?
Having convinced myself that it would be good to revisit in order to insert a subplot worth, oh, about 15,000 words, I gave the book to my writing group with STRICT instructions to assess it for subplot opportunities. I somewhat grudgingly allowed that they could also point out any other areas of potential improvement. If they had any. (As if.)
Well, good reader, they did. Cruel, heartless Addy, Claire and Sue. But the amazing thing was that I was totally ready to hear it. And I’m in the midst of revising (up to chapter 5) and it is going swimmingly. I read somewhere that someone famous said “kill your darlings.” My darlings may not all be dead, but many are maimed and some are gasping.
And tons of potential subplots, expansions, and missed opportunities. Why are there several characters that only show up once? Why do I show the reader a couple of scenes set in the theater, but only a couple, when they’re so amazing? (I’m interpreting, here.) Why are there two separate law firms? Lastly, how do I break myself of the habit of introducing a character and immediately telling you what they look like? (Although now I am noticing, everybody does this. It’s just that some people do it really well.)
I guess it’s kind of like losing weight. When you’re ready, dieting’s easy. When you’re not ready, it’s cupcake city.
2. Second mystery: What the heck is up with my blog? My most popular post this week is Analyze Your Writing, posted on July 15, 2010. Dozens of people looked at this post over the holiday weekend. I am mystified.