I'm Writing a Book

Have you thought about doing something totally out of your character, out of your comfort zone, and maybe even beyond your capability? I have. And I’m doing it anyway. I’m writing a book. I can’t believe I’m saying that. When I was in high school I wanted to be a writer. The trouble was I didn’t like to write. I never sat down and wrote a short story just for the fun of it. I do like learning. I read about writing. I subscribed to blogs about writing. I enrolled in an online writing course through a local community college. I’m embarrassed to say that after about 20 minutes of reading I forgot all about the class. The days slipped by and the class ended. What was I thinking?? I don’t waste money. Clearly, I had done just that. I needed to find another way.

Mystery Writer
The back of my new business cards.
I stumbled upon the book How to Write a Cozy Mystery at the library. I Googled cozy mysteries, writing, blogs about writing, best books on writing, how to write characters, and that was just the beginning. That led me to follow blogs on mystery writing, and eventually the belief that I should write a cozy. I haul stacks of books about writing home from the library. I have a big stack now. I purchased new books and scoured my favorite used bookstore. I have to give a shameless plug for Roberts Bookshop in Lincoln City, Oregon.

I read all I could find about the genre. I filled notebooks with information I would need to refer back to as I developed my story. (I love the graph ruled composition books.) I learned about the key components to a cozy, and what doesn’t belong. Graphic violence, sex, and profanity have no place. I’m good with that. In fact I’m happy about it. Cozies are all about characters and a puzzle. This is where I began to get excited about the possibility of writing a book. I started a Google Doc. There is a user friendly built in outline that allows you to create lists. I started with the physical characteristics of my sleuth. I began to see her. Then I added a list of her likes and dislikes, her career, family background, and then I named her. That is when my sleuth came to life. I began to see her as a person. She needed a side kick, a love interest, a place to live, well you get the idea. My lists continued to grow and my town and its people began to emerge.