A quick update, as I haven’t posted in a while: I’ve been outlining, and (finally) writing, working on that work-in-progress novel. Sure enough, that means that my brain has been feverishly coming up with other awesome ideas that would be a ton of fun to work on. Endnote has been useful for this, as has my regular notebook.
The novel is progressing, sort of. I’ve written now two chapter 1s, and in each case discarded them after realizing that the action needed to start later than that. This is where I have the hardest time trying to write both science fiction and mystery at the same time: my favorite sci-fi novels tend to start fast and get into the action and intrigue immediately, focusing tightly on the protagonist. My favorite mystery novels all tend to start slow, painting a picture of the scene and the suspects.
I made a decision to focus pretty tightly on the protagonist, Crandall. I still think that’s the right decision for this story, but it means that I can’t avail myself of a lot of the tricks that other mystery writers use. (P.D. James in particular spends a lot of time in other peoples’ heads, but when I try it I think the result is just a muddle)
I’ve also been reading Sherwood Moran’s memo on interrogation techniques, from WWII. It’s interesting reading, though not entirely relevant to a detective story, as part of his technique is to simply say, “Look, you’ve been captured and you’re out of the war now. Let’s just talk like two human beings” which doesn’t work as well when the person being questioned still has hope of getting away with murder. Still, it’s got me thinking.
Anyway, still writing. Not dead. Yet.