Friday, July 15, 2022

Dressing for the Part

Although authors spend time learning about their characters before writing, most of the backstory shouldn’t show up on the page. Lynn’s dress choice is important later, but my existing scene didn’t advance the story.

While preparing a ‘Deleted Scene’ post, I trimmed the scene (waking up in the hotel room, talking with the bride-to-be, getting ready, and having breakfast) and realized I liked what was left. The scene needed revision, not deletion.

Saturday morning, August 8


Seven o’clock already? Lynn rolled over and slapped off the alarm. After showering and drying her hair, she opened the hotel closet and debated what to wear. The spa package included manicures and pedicures, facials, and massages.

She selected a calf-length sundress suitable for the warm summer day. She laid the dress on the bed and fanned its wide skirt. Large red flowers popped from white fabric. Small green leaves accented the pattern.

Lynn turned back to the closet for sandals but, instead, pulled out a short, hot-pink dress. She held it against herself and admired the reflection in the mirror. The color set off her complexion and golden hair, and the style complimented the curves of her figure.

She chuckled. “Scott can’t keep his eyes off me when I wear this dress.” But, for modesty’s sake, I’ll wear a longer dress for the pedicure.

Lynn dressed quickly. The full skirt of the red-and-white floral sundress billowed as she twirled in front of the mirror before leaving the room to meet the other bachelorettes for breakfast.


Friday, July 1, 2022

Pathway to a Plot

I began planning the third Detective McGregor mystery three months into writing the first in the series.

I started with a conflict premise: a woman attending a bachelorette party is kidnapped. Then I brainstormed ideas for plot, plot twists, characters, and setting.

The brainstormed outline became a living document. I copied the plot points into the manuscript and wrote the scenes in that order. As I wrote and revised, I restructured the original plot. Some of the early plot ideas were eliminated, and others were heavily modified or moved. Many of the characters were cut or combined.

I chose a setting I loved and spent countless hours online researching specific locations and the logistics of the plot. Then I took a research trip to the area to test the logistics and experience the setting so I could describe it realistically.

Now all the scenes have been written, and I’m continuing to revise and refine the rough draft.