Last Monday morning, I waded back in to this murder mystery. I've already started this book three times, but each time, something was off--the character wasn't likeable, or the story felt flat--something. Each time I started over, the piece I was writing kept getting shorter, too--another frustration, because it felt like my overall wordcount was going the wrong direction; 2,800 words became 1,900 words became 1,400 words. But until I get the tone right, there's no point in writing the rest of the story--I'd only have to go back and write a completely different story when I finally figured it out.
I think I've finally figured it out.
I needed snarky, I needed light, I needed a character that readers can connect with. Here's a quick snippet from the first chapter that I'm particularly happy with:
Melinda had broken up with Daniel--boyfriend of five years and fiancé for the last nineteen months--just last Friday. She’d come home early from a girl’s night out, hoping to maybe watch a movie and snuggle before bed.
Mistake number one. Never come home early.
Daniel had company, apparently--a young woman from a few floors up in their high-rise. It was a party without any clothes, and Melinda had felt a little uninvited when she walked into the apartment she and Daniel shared and found them busy rearranging the living room furniture.
She counted it as a point of honor that she hadn’t killed anyone. Yet.
It was surprising, though, how quickly you could sell a two-carat diamond solitaire on eBay.
The word count went down to 1,000 words, but this time, it felt like they were the right words. And that makes all the difference.
Tuesday I smoothed them over a bit and added another 200 words, and this morning I put another 1,000 into the mix. Hopefully, the ball is rolling, and momentum will out!