Friday, July 15, 2022

Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice – Day 9

Climax and resolution. Picking up speed again!

                Solid 5 sessions today for 2,800 words total. Each 45 minute writing sprint saw the following word counts in order: 600, 400, 500, 600, 700. Not sure why I didn’t add a 6th session to get over 3k today, but it is what it is. (Don’t you hate that phrase?)

                So today, I started Part 6 and I’m in the thick of the final confrontation and heading toward the resolution. I won’t share any spoilers, so I won’t be giving you the title to this chapter, although those who read the book eventually (and actually look at the table of contents) might deduce the ending from the chapter title.

                Oh, what the heck, I’ll tell you anyway. This section is titled, “As We Forgive Others.” And since this is a cozy mystery, it’s sort of expected that there will be a ‘happily ever after’ kind of ending. It’s not only romance readers that want their HEAs!

                What this expectation means for me, the writer, is that I have to satisfactorily fulfill what the reader is looking for. This is a good thing. There are certain promises that a writer makes given the genre, plot, story set-up, etc., that must be kept if the novel is going to be well-received by the reader.

                Yes, in a cozy mystery (and mysteries in general), there should be some twists or unexpected developments, but usually the reader and writer enter into an agreement; there’s an understanding that ‘everything will all work out in the end.’

                I’ve written some short stories and some readers blast my endings with something like: “I saw that coming from a mile away!” Well, of course you did, dummy. I telegraphed the ending in the title itself! You see, some readers think every ending must be a surprise. I disagree. The ending (or final reveal) can be expected, even obvious, and at the same time be fulfilling.

                The trick is balancing expectations. Today, I think I did pretty well as I wrote the climax. Only time will tell once this short novel makes it into readers’ hands.

Another thing I did today was that I decided to change the headings of each section from Part to Chapter. I mentioned in an earlier entry that I wrote in episodes. But since I abandoned that device after the first ‘story’ within this larger story, it no longer made sense to break the novel into ‘parts.’

For a 40k word novel, this does present a bit of a dilemma. There will only 7 chapters and I think the expectation is that there be more like 15 to 20. But then, maybe that’s not a big enough expectation to worry about. Anyway, I’ll finish chapter 6 tomorrow and move on to the denouement after that.

The novel is almost done!

Today’s Writing Tip…

Study the ‘promises’ that your genre or story makes. For it to be a fulfilling story, it must deliver on the expectations you set up early in the telling of your story.


Writing: Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice by Lyn Perry 
Introduction - Tackling a New Project
Day 1 - 450 words, story at 18,500 words
Day 2 - 500 words, story at 19,000 words
Day 3 - 3000 words, story at 22,000 words
Day 4 - 3100 words, story at 25,100 words
Day 5 - 3000 words, story at 28,100 words
Day 6 - 3050 words, story at 31,150 words
Day 7 - 2550 words, story at 33,700 words
* Day 8 - 1200 words, story at 34,900 words
* Day 9 - 2800 words, story at 37,700 words

(Note: Above image by mohamed-hassan from Pixabay. Used by permission.)


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Hey, I'm Lyndon Perry, a speculative fiction writer living in Puerto Rico. I'm a former pastor and current husband, father, coffee drinker, and cat-wrangler. You can find me almost anywhere online, so check out my various Linktree Locations and say hello!

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