A Literary Mystery?

Friday, 19 February 2016

I’ve described Mister Woodreeve’s Reflection as ‘a literary mystery’ – what do I mean? It’s hardly a whodunit – there are no murders, no list of suspects to interrogate. It’s more of a ‘what’s going on here?’ mystery, with an increasing number of questions spinning round inside my head.

What does Emma see in the first chapter? Who is Mister Woodreeve? Will they be able to share the secrets which divide them? And how does this all fit together? I had a real tussle with this – there was a long period during the writing when I saw the story’s ending, but couldn’t work out how to get there. It was frustrating – trying to work out which character knows what, and how much of this does the reader know?

I think when you read the novel, you may guess what happens before the characters do – they lurch between wild guesses and being slow on the uptake. But have you got it right? Perhaps Mister Woodreeve’s Reflection does have something in common with a whodunit – several solutions instead of several suspects. Like all good mysteries (whether there’s a murder or not) you can’t be sure of the outcome until the end of the last chapter.

Away from writing, Steve and I increased our Wednesday mileage this week from forty to over fifty miles, in training for our Big Bike Ride, starting in June – the first two weeks cycling round the coast of Scotland (and maybe England and Wales too).

More next Friday….. meanwhile, a big Thank You to my first 32 supporters in Week One. We are already almost one-seventh of the way towards publishing the novel. Please tell all your friends too!

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