I think it time that we have a serious discussion about writing crime fiction to keep this blog from becoming boring.

I propose that those of us who write commit to writing three chapters in our current novel and report to each other (via this blog) on our progress.

I'll start.  I've gone through a number of ideas on novels recently and settled on one named Alone with a Magic Death.  I'm on Chapter 4 at this time.  I commit to you my crime fiction friends that I will have Chapter 7 complete by the first of November.

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Deadlines drive me batty. 

We're on the forum here, but you are right, the forum has been barely breathing lately.  Theoretically, we also have reader members.  For them, we should have discussions about books we read, rather than those we write.

As for your topic: I'm writing the last few pages of my latest Akitada novel.  Today I decided that the plot had a complication it didn't need.  I removed the red herring.  Now I worry that I may have missed some reference some place. You see, I've just finished revising the whole novel and prooread for typos.  I don't really feel like doing all that again.  There's a lesson here:  Don't overload your mystery with twists nd then remove them at the last moment.

Theoretically, this book and a short story should go to the formatters by the end of the month, but I haven't done the cover designs yet.

Theoretically, we also have reader members.

I'm one of those. And of course I understand that the members who are writers want to talk about their writing. But, as is the case on most forums, including a couple art forums I've visited, the most interesting discussions are the "philosophical" ones. :) What one can learn from others.

Sometimes we do veer off in those directions even when we're talking about writing.  :)

I agree; many of my favorite discussion are the "philosophical" ones. I think those of us who are writers sometimes get bogged down in the minutiae of the craft and ordeals of promotion and don't bring them up on our own. As a reader, Caroline, feel free. Many of the best Bouchercon panel questions came from readers, in large part because they lent themselves to more expansive answers.

I think Dana is encouraging you, Caroline, to start some topics.  :)

Oh well, now that I've said that, guess I'll have to think of something. :)  Right now I'm drawing a blank....was hoping someone else might start the ball rolling! 

bogged down in the minutiae of the craft and ordeals of promotion and don't bring them up on our own.

Comes with the territory!  As an artist I'd actually prefer to talk with fellow artists about "process," technique & that sort of thing--- what paints & painting mediums do you prefer, what's your favorite drawing paper---the minutiae, 'cause the philosophy can get you into trouble. (Art is this, or not this, or that, or not that, or why are we doing this anyway)?

Because we like the process?   If you don't, you should be doing something else!  :)

I enjoy this forum because I DON"T have to worry about those things that plague you writers. That leaves my mind "open" to those grand philosophical questions which probably have no firm answers. 

Such as....(this is just for fun)....could you have a cozy/gritty murder mystery all in one? Are there any being written now? Where do you draw the line between "cozy" and "gritty?"   This probably sounds like one of those class exercises!  Maybe it should be a topic on its own---if anyone cares!

Simple answer: no!  The readers of cozies will not accept gritty (or cats dying).  You might get by with a police procedural set in a small town, provided you go easy on the gore. Cozies are pure escape for those too paranoid about the real world they live in.  Other readers get their escape precisely from an excess of violence and gore for that delicious shudder: this happens to someone else, not me.

I can't say I understand the attraction of noir and the general hopelessness of walking the mean streets of American cities, eating burgers and drinking to excess.

I agree with IJ on the idea of combining cozy and gritty; the two are pretty much mutually exclusive. Once you add a certain amount of grit, the book is no longer a cozy, pretty much by definition.

It's a matter of setting up a believable universe. Drop a cozy heroine and her cat into a realistically gritty story and what the cozy describes as a clever escape--with a few serendipitous circumstances--becomes the old lady in the trunk of a car. This kills the aura of the cozy. letting her get away kills the effect of the grit. Devotees of either form will be dissatisfied.

That being said, up until a few years ago, vampires couldn't stand direct sunlight. There's no telling what someone with the chops could come up with.

Good point about the vampires.  You would never have believed you could have a vampire romance.

until a few years ago, vampires couldn't stand direct sunlight

And now they can?  Of course sunlight is problematic for all of us---too much and you risk skin cancer, not enough and you don't get sufficient Vitamin D. 

But vampires don't need Vitamin D, and they're already dead, so cancer's not an issue either.  What bothers me is how they're all supposed to be really sexy! 

Simple answer: no! 

That's what I thought. :)

Will have to think of another topic.


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