Wrapping up the flashback / catch-up chapters.
Wrote just over 3,000 words today. Chapters 10 and 11. Finally caught up to Chapter 1. Next chapter begins in the present moment, just after the strange man is found passed out in the back of the bookstore.
If you’ve been reading along as I post my WIP updates, you know that I flashbacked three months after the opening scene. This backtrack is really working. It’s not boring because I’m introducing an overarching mystery that will carry this series of books to nine novels. (I hope!)
To get to the overarching mystery (the notes, or predictions/prophecies) and its ultimate solution (which I don’t know at this point – it’s a mystery, people! even to me!), I need to introduce a mysterious character from the Ma Tutt stories. Her name is Martía and she’s a Gypsy.
Actually Romany (or Roma or Romani). Anyway, her and her husband Rohan are a curious couple. I won’t spoil the Ma Tutt mysteries, but suffice it to say, they are a lot more than they appear to be.
One of Martía’s specialties, however, is knowing special ingredients, recipes, spices, herbs. That sort of thing. So now that I have the bookstore stocked with books, I need to get the candle shop part of the store up and running.
Kelli’s in charge of this portion of the store and involved CiCi, a teen helper of Ma’s at the bakery. But she can work part time with Kelli to make candles and create their inventory. Where Martía comes in is helping with some scents or aromas. Thus I’m using the situation to introduce new characters that are vital to the ongoing Big Mystery Thing.
Now if you could follow all that, you’re better at story development and plotting than I am! Suffice it to say, the novel is progressing really well.
Chapter 11 ends on a high note. Kelli & Jo host an open house the night before the Grand Opening and all their friends show up. It’s a nice way to get most of the ensemble of the series into the same scene.
A little clever writing ploy I used, though, was to almost end the chapter with another disaster. Spoiler! Our love-to-hate General Inspector Donovan Huckly shows up and threatens to put the kibosh on the store opening. Turns out he’s teasing and everything will move forward as planned. Everyone cheers.
Kelli and Jo end the night content and excited. They just know everything will work out great in the morning.
Bum bum bummm. A little bit of irony.
For the next chapter (which I’ll write next) is the present moment. And we already know there’s a possible murder, or ‘something bad’ that has happened at the end of Chapter 1. So that’s what’s next, the Big Mystery Thing and the one-and-done plot mystery thing come together.
But the characters don’t know it yet. Finally, I the author know something the MCs don’t! Won’t they be surprised? Fun to write this novel so far. We’ll see what unfolds next!
I got nothing. Maybe, just be sure you introduce your characters in a normal setting before exploiting them later on when the ‘big mystery thing’ is finally revealed. Don’t bring someone in out of the blue who the readers should have had a chance to get to know earlier in the story.
Progress: Writing Secrets & Scents...
Introduction – Part 2: The Missing Novel
Day 1 - 3100 (Chps 1 & 2) - Total: 3,100 words
Day 2 - 3300 (Chps 3 & 4) - Total: 6,400 words
Here's a placeholder image for Secrets & Scents - A Kelli & Jo Candle Shop Mystery by yours truly. I'll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign in September, 2022, for cozy mystery fans to acquire their exclusive pre-release edition of my latest novel with a brand new, professionally designed cover. Watch for details.
In the meantime, if you become a Patreon Subscriber, you'll be able to read Secrets & Scents as I write it! New chapters of my WIP every week, plus a backlist novel a month and bonus short stories exclusive to patrons.
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