Having just finished writing the first draft of Flames (The Frozen Flame: Book 3), I sat down, ready to delve into a Brother Cyric adventure. It was to be a murder mystery of sorts, complete with a mystical element. It involves him learning of the arrest, for murder, of a man whom he feels is innocent. The story-line then delves into how he finds the guilty party. I had what I thought was an intriguing outline and so I began fleshing it out, adding in clues and such to point to the culprit. That’s when I discovered that I had made a huge mistake. It was still an interesting concept, but I had only presented one suspect. What kind of a mystery is that?
So I took some time, talking over the situation with Carol and even taking some time out to watch an episode of Murder She Wrote, to get an idea of how to frame the story. No, I won’t tell you which episode I watched, not that it matters, the story-line was quite different.
Next, I scribbled out some notes and then began furiously typing out the series of events leading up to the death and what happens afterwards. This includes how the murder took place along with the when and where. Now there is more than one suspect, and since I changed whodunit, even Carol doesn’t know the ending! The true test will be when she finally reads the finished product and tries to figure it out.
Paul Bennett is a self-published author of Epic Fantasy books.