Goals and resolutions. That is the focus of this first week of the year and quite honestly, I hesitate to make them; they only seem to set me up for failure. But this particular goal has been rattling around in my brain for several months, and I thought perhaps now is the time to give it a voice. A true goal is specific - both in focused details and designated time frame. My goal is neither - and I am fine with that.
I have decided that I would like to write a Cozy Mystery. The idea came to me this past summer as I was working on another novel idea. I was having a difficult time developing the conflict: I knew the protagonist, the antagonist, the setting, the theme, the chronology of events .... but I had no compelling conflict (still working on that, as a matter of fact...) See.... I try so very hard to live life free from any conflict whatsoever - so the thought of intentionally creating conflict for characters that I enjoy is quite difficult.
But then the thought occurred to me that a murder mystery defines the conflict, but needs an author to develop character and setting and intrigue. I have enjoyed reading mysteries since I was eight years old and discovered Nancy Drew - but I would not say that it is my preferred literary genre. Nevertheless, the idea of writing a cozy mystery appeals to my creative side. Cozies are typically void of graphic violence, explicit sex, or vulgar language --- all areas that I feel poorly equipped to write. Cozies instead focus on character relationships and (typically) small town settings - two aspects of literature to which I relate most. So the seed of an idea was planted - and continued to sprout through the fall.
You Can Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts best suited my needs. It is now a permanent resource in my personal library.
I then gave thought to the protagonist. The adage, write what you know, seemed appropriate here. Not that I know murder, mind you, but I do know a few "characters" in life. I did some research online and discovered that there is a cozy protagonist of just about every age, profession, and interest. To narrow the focus just a bit, I decided to begin with my own personal interests. My initial list include such interests as:
- Animals (particularly dogs)
- English teachers
- Book store owners
- Thrift shop
- Coffee/Tea/Wine shop
It is my intention to write brief reviews of these cozies on this blog. I will begin that routine this coming week. In the meantime .... Here's to a new year with new intentions, aspirations, and beginnings.