Slow Starts

While I’m waiting on my critique partners to bloody up (in a good way) my Jazzi 10 manuscript, catching as much as they can to make it as good as possible, I’ve started work on my next project–a Karnie Cleaver mystery. I’m a plotter, and I have a general idea of what’s going to happen in this book, but that doesn’t mean I’ll make very fast progress. Even though I know these characters, since I’ve written them before, the set-up chapters are always a challenge for me. For the first ten or so chapters, I’m feeling my way, trying to get everything in the right place at the right time. I need to introduce the main players in the story, the setting, and the book’s big question–the thing that drives it.

For the book’s set-up, I want to give a feel for Karnie and her family, their shop and customers, and the problem they have to face and deal with . Karnie works behind the meat counter in her family’s butcher shop. Her dad runs the deli section, and her brother Chuck works with their dad cutting meat. Her mom is the head cashier. Karnie’s regular customers count on her for ideas on how to cook whatever cuts of meat they buy. Glendale is a small community, and most of the people come in at least once a week, so she knows them pretty well.

Karnie’s older brother, Porter, moved to Florida after he graduated high school to open a seafood market, but he returns to work with them when his market is destroyed by a hurricane. At least, that’s what he tells them. But the problems he had in Florida follow him to Glendale, and Glendale doesn’t appreciate it. Before long, people band together to help him.

The ideas are all there. It’s how to arrange them that slows me down. At least, for now until I find a flow. But I enjoy writing the set-up for new books. It’s probably my favorite part of writing, so I’ll happily chug along, knowing that once I reach a certain point, the words will flow faster.

8 thoughts on “Slow Starts

  1. It’s always exciting brainstorming a new project. I always love that, too. I’m kind of doing the same, only mine is a WIP from an old NaNo project. Something I never finished and one that needs a lot of help. The brainstorming is fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s those “messy middles” that get me. I seem to breeze along at first, then I get to the middle. Once I’m past that hurdle, the last third of the book goes pretty fast. (Keeping my fingers crossed that’s what happens with my WIP. I’m tired of being stuck in the middle.)

    Good luck and enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

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