Monday, March 29

Whose Idea Was This?

I love mystery novels. Practically learned to read on Agatha Christie, so I pride myself on being able to figure out the murderer long before the average reader. When I began to write romance, I figured I'd make it a romantic suspense - the trend was white hot, and how hard could it be to throw in a few twists? After all, I could deduce anything!

However, I quickly learned that the old saying is true; pride certainly does goeth before a fall. Following well written clues someone else has laid out for you is COMPLETELY different than working backwards to throw in red herrings and yet still leaving a trail of semi-hidden breadcrumbs to the perpetrator. Writing suspense is hard! In interviews for my book, I told everyone who would listen that I am writing straight romance from now on, due to my inherent laziness.

And I did - for a while. My second book reveled in being full of nothing more serious than love, lust and humor. The words poured out of me with ease. Writing is easy! (Cue the foreboding music) And then my current WIP reared its ugly head. I had every intention of whipping out another light and frothy romance. Equally fun to read and write. Except some idiot came up with the idea of throwing in two suspense elements. Still fun, still frothy...but suddenly a heck of a lot of work! I've got a scavenger hunt based in four different countries requiring a massive amount of research, not to mention writing the actual clues. I've got someone trying to kill my heroine who can't be revealed til the very end, and on top of that, quite the drug smuggling ring.
Now every time I sit down to write, the logistics and behind the scenes machinations hover over my brain like mental smog. Each day I (metaphorically, of course) bang my head against the wall repeating the mantra whose stupid idea was this? The worst part is that this torture is completely self imposed. But try as I might, I can't picture the book working at all without every one of those elements. So I press on. Laboriously. Hoping the experience is like going to the gym: I dread it before, but I feel great when I'm finished!


  1. Research can definitely leave you dangling! I could never write historicals b/c of the research. I like the spa for research!

  2. Good post, Christi. Growth is always good for us, whether as writers or just people, but it always hurts, doesn't it? :-)

  3. when i first started writing, i thought i'd try my hand at romantic suspense....and was immediately told the cop wouldn't have done that, the bullet wouldn't have done that, the bleeding wouldn't have done that!
    so i went back to rom com. =) lol....not that i'm lazy, but all the research was gonna kill me!

  4. I looooooovvvveee RS! Dont' want to write another thing!

  5. We do get to read the scavenger hunt! Can't wait.

  6. Just keep pressing on,'ll hit the right vein and WHAMMO! It'll spill forth. :)