[NaNoWriMo] Uncle Josh writes a novel. Day 1.

A couple of weeks ago we visited my sister-in-law at her college and we hit the colleg bookstore, as we do in our family. There I discovered a “new” book by Dashiell Hammet: The Return of the Thin Man. It contains the stories Hammet wrote for the first two sequels to the first Thin Man movie. Because it is a treatment for a movie script, it is “tight” writing and it is written in present tense omniscient.

As I decided only Thursday what style of story to write, and that was based on Nick and Nora while using my established characters of Murdock Collins and Jordon Li, I found the natural voice to be Omniscient Third Person Present Tense. This is a strange way to write, especially has every other Murdock Collins story is First Person Past Tense.

The freedom of the voice is I can head hop, which makes writing a murder plot a bit tricky. The challenge is the characters all have to have their own opinion and to some extent, their own voice, and it can’t be filtered through Murdock’s normal sarcasm.

The other challenge I face in plotting this thing is I don’t know what the hell is going on. I know who dies. I’m kind of certain as to why, and very unsure about the who. I fear I’m going to break the firstrule of mystery writing by introducing the actual murderer some time in the third act. Right now I have a small cast of characters. I think one of the things that made the Thin Man movies so good was the large cast of characters, so I need to find a way to include more people.

Also, and I don’t know why this seems as important as it does, but I don’t kill anyone until almost 2,000 words in.

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About Uncle Josh

I am a genre writer from the Great Metropolitan Rain Forest.

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