Changing the Murder in a Murder Mystery: The Beauty of Starting Over

Okay.

We need to talk.

A real talk about being a writer.

Sometimes, you just need to start over.

Which is what I’ve decided to do. Well, for the most part.

I’m starting my story over.

Let Me Explain

For the past couple of months, I’ve been trying to write a novel. Trying being the key word. It’s a mystery story about a Detective and his assistant, set in the 1920s.

These characters and setting have been on my mind for years. Back in fiction writing class, I offered my short story, featuring the detective and the 20s, to be critiqued by my fellow classmates. Although my work was much different than my peers, I received many positive comments. I’m not bragging that my writing is genius, but that positivity gave me encouragement to keep at it.

When I graduated, I was on my own, to write what I please. To be the author I always dreamed I’d become. Frankly, I struggled. With this newfound freedom came fear, fear of the unknown. What kind of story do I write? What genre? Then, I remembered my mystery story from class. I enjoyed writing detective fiction. And I thought to myself, why not just expand the 10 page story I wrote into a novel? Seemed plausible, at the time.

Honestly, I was having a tough time. Every time I tried to write something, it was like walking through quicksand. This was different than ordinary writer’s block. I felt stuck. The more I tried to work on it, the more tangled I felt.

I’ll admit, I grew depressed. I was a writer not writing. I lost all motivation. Writing just lost it’s magic. For months, I had this gut feeling that huge parts of the plot needed to changed in order to create an even greater story. Even though I’m afraid of change, I have to rework the entire plot line, for it’s own good.

What Exactly is Changing

So, here’s what’s happening. Major construction and reconstruction.

I’m my opinion, I have great characters. I think, if I do them justice, they can be really special fictional characters. It’s not the characters that need changing, it’s the plot itself. The pieces were playing the wrong game. Does that make sense?

What I want to change, what I NEED to change, is the center of the plot itself. The murder in the murder mystery. The case connecting all these characters together, the case my detective would solve, had to be revamped. Kicked up a notch, I supposed you could say.

Originally, my detective story was centered around an actress who had been shot with a not so fake gun while on stage. Then, I recognized that the murder in my murder mystery was cliche. I didn’t realize how much of a trope my idea was. While having a trope or a cliches in a story is fine, I didn’t want to write something that’s been done a bunch of times. Fiction shouldn’t be predictable.

Why I’m Sharing My Setback

While writing is an art, it isn’t always roses. I want to share my ups and downs, as a writer, with full honesty. That’s what the Lady Jabberwocky blog is about. If my experience as a writer has an impact on another writer’s life, then maybe sharing my set back will be worth it.

I’m not starting from scratch completely. Some scenes from the original story line can be salvaged and used in the new story line. Characters, for the most part, will remain the same. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and rework elements of a story in order to become better.

I’m happy. And excited to create a story again. A new story. Hopefully, get those creative juices going again. Challenging stereotypes and cliches and tropes always made me write better. It’s what got me writing in the first place.

I’m erasing the drawing board and starting again, and that’s okay.

Never feel discouraged just because of a step backwards. Writing is a process. It’s also a journey and a real adventure. You will eventually arrive at your destination, even if you took a few detours along the way.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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3 thoughts on “Changing the Murder in a Murder Mystery: The Beauty of Starting Over

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