July 31, 2021 - A Plan

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Yesterday I got lost in Design-A-Cover Land. Well, not exactly designing one, but getting ready to design one. That meant a lot of time scrolling through images in Deposit Photos, looking for appropriate backgrounds and pictures that could be my main characters. It’s very easy to spend hours doing that, which I did. But having a cover as a reference is inspiring, which is how I justified not spending any time at all on planning the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries.


Today was the opposite. Or maybe I just got far enough in my imaging to continue working on the stories.


Number one was creating a list of motives for my murders. This was inspired by a list in Mastering Your Mystery by Cheryl Bradshaw. It didn’t seem like a great list, but it was a start. I fleshed it out by Googling “motives” and reading several other lists. I put all this into yet-another-spreadsheet, and put it in my Book of Lists.


Similarly to what happened with listing tropes on Thursday, this inspired a number of ideas for other stories. Or hooking up the existing scenarios to a motive, which sometimes led to a villain. Kind of. At this stage, everything is very fluid.


I also started thinking about the short story that will act as a bridge between the African Violet Club Mysteries and the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries. I’d written four scenes in that a few months ago, but there’s a lot more that has to happen before I can finish it. But while I was watching the Red Sox game (ugh!), I kept picking up my iPad and Googling more things as I thought of them. When the Rays scored a bunch of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, I turned off the game and went back to my office.


I have just spent another half hour putting the short story and its scenes into Plottr so I wouldn’t forget the ideas I came up with. I’m hoping to find the notes I was writing the story from originally (I hope I had a clear idea of the murder, because there’s not a whole lot about that in Scrivener from when I left off!) tomorrow, so in between the Plan Your Series Challenge activities, I can add some words toward getting the story done.

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