Thursday, August 15, 2013

"This fortress built by Nature for herself," Basil said, looking into the gray distance

Last night Mighty Reader and I watched the 1942 Sherlock Holmes film "The Secret Weapon." I can't resist a Professor Moriarty story, you know. Though he seems a bit of a dope, so vain and easily manipulated by Holmes. The film ends with Holmes giving a bit of John Of Gaunt's speech from Act II of "Richard II." Very stirring. But that's not why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to note somewhere for my own records that I have reached the halfway point in the first draft of my own detective story, The Hanging Man. It seems to be working so far. At the end of Chapter Six, Patience Quince runs into the street to pursue her prime suspect. I've also worked a Flannery O'Connor reference into this chapter, which will recur at the end of Chapter Seven. What larks, Pip. What larks indeed. The draft is running longer than I expected. I figured I'd have about 30,000 words down at this point, but it's over 40,000. I don't know what's going on with that. Possibly I've learned to write in a less compressed prose style. Possibly I'm just digressing more. Possibly the chapters are more complex than my outline makes them look and it's just taking me longer to get from point A to point B than I'd planned. I don't know and it doesn't really matter. I merely remark upon the phenomenon. I also notice that I've abandoned chapter titles. I may add them later; chapter titles are fun, and are frequently an aid to misdirection of the reader, which is always important in a detective novel.

5 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to do chapter titles in my Regencies. I start off well, but then run out of ideas somewhere around Chapter 12. (Considering my books are usually over 25 chapters, it gets a little sticky.) Perhaps I'll try it in my next contemporary work.

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  2. I always just take the chapter title from somewhere within the chapter, after I've written it. A good phrase, a snatch of dialogue, that sort of thing. The less the title actually reveals the contents of the chapter, the better.

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  3. I'm glad you are making good progress, Mr. B. And soon the world will get to read Book 1!

    Two nights ago, Peanut wriggled out of his collar and ran into the street to pursue his prime suspect. I ran after him, yelling, no, no, no. Luckily, the suspect was big and started growling, and Peanut kept his distance, because he's no dope.

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  4. This made me remember to tell you that Adam was just cast as the lead role in Agatha Christie's "The Unexpected Guest"

    I will be reading the script soon. :)

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  5. I don't know that one. Tell Adam congrats for me, and tell him to break a leg when the show starts! I need to read some Christie soon. I have a couple new ones (new for me) on the TBR pile. Probably I can interrupt Rabelais' loopy novel at any time and pick up a mystery for a day or two.

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