During March and April when the Covid-19 lockdown was occurring and no one could operate anything except essential businesses, I tackled the task of “committing murder.” I could barely remember the tenets of the game of CLUE, so I had to look it up. After studying the characters and their weapons and places of crime, I selected my place to be the conservatory. My weapon was to be the lead pipe although I had no idea about the whom, how, or why. I chose my character to be one Lorraine Hepplewhite.
After all, I didn’t want to infringe on any copyright problems. And so I began my story with my character.
Literary fiction focuses on style, depth, and is character-driven. The plot is important, but the narrative dwells on what motivates the character to act the way he or she does within the larger framework of the story. Basically literary fiction explores the human condition.
Sitting at the computer, allowing my fingers to move over the keyboard, I began with Lorraine entering the conservatory. I proceeded to note that there was a large framed display of mounted butterflies near the door. That led me into the story. I followed Lorraine as a character, living in a large house that had a conservatory attached to it. I developed some situations, but I had no idea if she or someone else was going to commit “the” crime. I didn’t really know until the end of the story. I was as fascinated by her motives as anyone reading the mystery might be. When I was finished, I titled my story “Swallowtail.”
MURDER THEY WROTE is an eBook on Kindle. It features D.S. Reisig’s courtroom mystery with Abraham Lincoln as the main character. Science fiction writer C.S. Boyack wrote about a detective who can turn himself into fog and slip in under doors, vents, and cracks to find clues. A Jazzi Zander story by Judy Lynn is a cozy mystery. While Lynn’s characters remodel a house to be auctioned off for a charity fund-raiser, they find a dead person in a closet and solve the murder. Kathy Palm, who writes horror and fantasy, wrote a psychological ghost story. Regency author Julia Donner developed her mystery featuring a garden party where Lord Peregrine and his wife Elizabeth solve a murder. It is a lighthearted and fun story. Mae Clair developed a suspense tale about knight accused of murdering his obnoxious host at a holiday celebration.
The next time I write a murder/mystery, if I ever do, I am going to include details about dahlias…. dahlias as big a dinner plates. My reason is that recently I had some company, and one gentleman brought me ten gorgeous dahlias from his yard. There was a giant yellow one, several red ones, several white ones looking as as soft and white as snow. One vermilion dahlia had tips of yellow at the end of each petal. I was astonished. For some reason having them and looking at them made me want to write a story, one wherein the main character might be fascinated with dahlia plants and might steal some exotic bulbs. I think I could work up a motive for a crime.