For Mysteries & More!

NaNoWriMo 2015 Ends

NaNoWriMo 2015 has finished. So how did it go? Well…

I made it halfway there, passing the 25,000 word threshold. Not bad considering I switched novels partway through.

Five days in, I decided that working on novel six in my Syracuse mystery series was not going to work. It was starting out too disjointed and I didn’t have the story as well planned out as I’d thought. More and more I was itching to work on a different tale. A novella that could reach the 50,000 word mark in a first draft.

The famous bust of Nefertiti (on display in Berlin) figures in the story.

The famous bust of Nefertiti (on display in Berlin) figures in the story.

I’d been wanting to adapt my murder mystery party plot, The Egyptian Curse, into a novella. The original plot, set in the late 1970s, concerned an Egyptian collection, including a mummy and sarcophagus, that is donated to a community library. It’s soon discovered that the mummy, however, has been replaced with a recent corpse. A young college student with ties to the local university’s archaeology program has been murdered.

The idea for the story stems from the fact that the Cazenovia Public Library has a mummy on display. Naturally I thought: what if another library was bequeathed such a collection in more contemporary times. Thus The Egyptian Curse storyline.

Naturally, the story involves characters that are part of my Syracuse mystery series. I conceived of it as the first of three cases for lawyer Thaddeus Alcott to solve. These novellas would take place prior to my first novel, Death on Stoneridge and would allude to that novel as well as books two and three.

In The Egyptian Curse, there are characters living on Stoneridge Drive who have moved on by the time of the first novel. Iris Doyle appears as a character here and in my second book, Death at Danforth House. And the victim in the story is related to a character set to debut in book three, Murder at the Gardens. There are also a few minor references to characters and places from those first three novels.

I should note that it won’t be necessary to read one story in order to read another. It’s more about creating a richer experience for those who do read the series.

So—back to NaNoWriMo—my story progressed, albeit a bit slower than I’d liked. I’d envisioned several scenes that work better as taking place before the crime’s discovery. Fitting them into the natural progression of the story, which essentially begins with finding the body, has been my biggest challenge. I find I need to workshop the story to consider the chronology of events. Then, once I have the narrative better arranged, I anticipate the writing will go smoother. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it to my liking by year’s end.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? How did you do?

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