Elise Walks Through

How To Think Sideways Walkthrough Blog

Muse Bomb

I think that’s what you call what happened to me this morning. Whatever you call it, it was amazing!

I’ve mentioned before that I have the draft of a mystery with a story I really like, but it has some really serious problems. The biggest one is that the Main Character is too much like me, which translates into not interesting enough. She also doesn’t have a strong enough motivation for investigating a murder.

This is always a problem with amateur sleuth mysteries. Why in the world would a normal person, be they a bookshop owner, chef, or knitter, get involved in solving a crime? This is serious business, more suited for law enforcement than a nice young girl or a little old lady, Miss Marple aside. The trope is for the accused murderer to be either the sleuth or someone close to her.

But that didn’t work for the mystery I wrote. I know who the killer is and why he did it. It’s so intimately tied in with the theme and the plot that I couldn’t possibly make it someone else or change the murderer’s relationship to my MC without drastically altering the whole book.

It was because I was so discouraged over this situation that I decided to write a fantasy for the walkthrough of HTTS. I needed to create a MC who was over the top in the hopes of being able to create better main characters in the future.

But I haven’t been able to totally let go of my mystery. I’ve worried The Sentence for it during week four, as well as working on one for the fantasy novel. And I’ve reread Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict over the past couple of weeks, trying to wrap my head around the concepts for both the mystery and the fantasy. You see, details on the fantasy are not forthcoming, either.

Anyway, as I was finishing up breakfast this morning and thinking about the rewrite of the opening of the mystery, I was also thinking that I needed to do a list of what my characters want and what is blocking them from getting it.

So my ME threw out there:
Faith, what do you want?

And my MUSE answered:
I want to be a superhero.

And my jaw dropped. This was awesome! It totally makes sense. My MC is a computer nerd (like me) and very ordinary. But lots of computer nerds are into superheros and comic books. I think most of them have already seen Thor.

I got this image of her turning into someone else in her mind, like Rose in the Rose is Rose comic strip, who turns into a tattooed motorcyclist whenever she’s escaping from her life as a wife and mother. And I could just see my MC having Walter Mitty-like fantasies of saving the day from the evil-doers.

Solving the mystery gives her a chance to live out her fantasy of being a superhero. That’s her motivation. And it makes her so much more interesting as a character. Of course, this means even more rewrites. But it’s got me excited about going back to the mystery again.

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May 30, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. What a great idea! Love it!

    Comment by Debbie Mumford | May 30, 2011 | Reply


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