November 3, 2021 - NaNoWriMo Day 3

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

 These are the kind of writing days I live for. After stumbling along for two days, I’m deep enough into the story to let my muse do most of the work.

I’d written a few paragraphs of the next scene yesterday, which I read this morning so I could pick up where I left off. It came to me that I’d started this scene too late, that there was something else that had to happen first. As soon as I started adding that to the beginning, Spooky, the cat showed up.

Who?

Spooky, the black cat.

You see, one of the reasons to start a new series with some of the same characters that my readers have loved in the past was to be more conscious of reader expectations for cozy mysteries. One of the things cozy readers love is a pet, preferably a cat. So this time, I introduced a black cat named Spooky early on. I even went back into my outline and stuck boxes for extra scenes that included the cat. But it’s much better when characters—human or feline—appear organically in the story.

I also found a way to include some of those character details in the new scene that I’d been attempting to jam into an earlier one. And they worked!

I used to have a note over my computer that said “See the movie.” Because when I get into a story, that’s basically what I do. The movie plays out in my head and I just type what happens. And rather than ticking off boxes for plot points or worrying whether I’ve planted a clue in the proper place, it’s sometimes good to remind myself to sit back and go along for the ride instead.

It doesn’t always happen, but the more I get involved in a story, the easier it is to get into the zone. Or, as I think of it, watch the movie.

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