Friday, January 22, 2016

A Writer's Frustration


If you've ever written more than one thousand words for a project, you should appreciate this...

The McShane manuscript for book four moved along nicely. The first two chapters barely saw a difference between the first draft and the third. Then came chapter three. Almost five hundred words in and I knew it wasn't working.

At All.

I tried to edit by moving the text from the back to the front, deleting a paragraph, rewriting a scene, to no avail. I had to admit. The draft sucked. So, I deleted the whole thing and started from scratch.

The end result of chapter three speaks for itself, although I'll tell you anyway. Fantastic. It moved the plot along nicely. The problem, however, is that it moved the plot in the wrong direction from the original outline. *sigh*

So, I started chapter four with a new direction that either had to be brought to heel and conform to the outline, or rethink where these characters are taking me.

Two thousand one hundred and fourteen words into the fourth chapter and I knew it couldn't be saved. The whole chapter was one long conversation between two characters. While funny in places, and intriguing for the plot line in others, it would not work. If this weren't a novella, and I had to find words to fill space, this might have been an award winner.

But it's not.

So, not only did my time frame get busted, so did my plotline. I really like where I ended with three, but I have to go back and rewrite my outline to conform. Chapter four now has five hundred forty-eight words toward that goal.

With uninterrupted time, I still should have a new draft written in the next few days. But who in the world ever gets uninterrupted?

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

McShane Mini-Mystery - "The Mushroom Murderer"

Chapter One
Party of the Season

Jaw clenched, a fake smile frozen on her face, Summer Autumn Malone McShane fought the scream trying to burst out. The older gentleman before her, whom Mother claimed was a distant cousin, droned on about his life, love, philosophies, travels and travails. She’d tried to reply or add to this one-sided conversation, with little success. She’d walked away once, only to have him follow her. The smile she held was beginning to make her cheeks ache.
Her mother’s voice sang out. “Tod! There you are!” She embraced the old man’s shoulder. Mona Malone had the ability to make everyone feel at ease as if you were family. Even if you really were.

“Tod,” her mother said. “You cannot manipulate all of Summer’s time like this. She has a party beginning in less than an hour and a world of things that need her attention.” Mona turned to her daughter. “Summer dear, Mrs. Lorenzo is looking for you. She said something about Chef Walters being annoyed or some such. You should go.”
The rescue brought a genuine smile, replacing the fake, plastered-on one that Sam had held. She reached out and grasped her mother’s hand. “Thank you so much. If you’ll excuse me?”
Cousin Tod bobbed his head, said, “Bye, Sam!”

She didn’t mind ‘Cousin Tod’ calling her Sam. Everyone did. Except her mother.
“Now, Mona,” Sam heard him say as she walked away. “Tell me what you’ve been doing all these years.”

Sam smirked. Mona Malone had run from the family estate on her eighteenth birthday. She and Richard Malone, high school sweethearts, married the moment the law would allow, much to their parents’ chagrin. After Sam was born, they spent her entire childhood traveling on mission trips, so she never knew many of the extended family members. After this encounter, she understood her mother’s motivation.

Mrs. Lorenzo, the head of household, interrupted her thoughts. “Ms. McShane, you must come to the kitchen with me. Chef Walters is furious over the mushrooms.”

“What’s wrong with the mushrooms?”


Book Four has been taken down for edits, etc. Please subscribe to the JL Mo website so you won't miss a notification on publication dates!