Cabin Assignments

My progress on The Corpse in Crystal Lake has been slow, but at least I’m up to chapter 4. Then I suddenly realized that, while I have a guest list of the people staying at Crystal Lake, and I have a map, I haven’t actually put the two things together and assigned people to cabins. Argh.

It matters, too. Which cabin someone is in will influence what they see, who they’re likely to run into on their way someplace else, etc. It will even tend to influence the order in which the brothers talk to them. So, officially, argh. The amount of background work required for murder mysteries can be really frustrating sometimes.

Oh, and I need to figure out if I have to put the assignments on the map somehow. I do have the cabins numbered, so maybe I don’t have to. That would certainly be more convenient.

Playing pretend as a grownup sure is a lot of work.

I’ve Made a Map!

Working on my third Brother Thomas mystery, I learned how to use the vector graphics program inkscape and have made a map of the resort camp where the novel takes place! I’m not sure it’s finished, but it’s close:

I think I’m going to add a legend to it. Some of the detail work is hard to see, so I might have to include a zoomed in section to spare people having to use a magnifying glass. Still, I think it’s come out pretty well.

(I might also add some trees to indicate where there is forest, but that’s most places, so it might make it too crowded.)

Progress!

So, I’ve finally begun work on the text of the third chronicle of Brother Thomas. Up til now, I’ve been working on what really happened, developing characters, working out plot elements, etc. Now, I’ve finally begun work on the part that people will actually read (God willing). My working title for it had been He Didn’t Drown in the Lake, but I’m now leaning more towards The Corpse in Crystal Lake. Both are tentative titles, so we’ll see what I decide on when I’m done with the novel. Here’s the first paragraph:

It began, as so many things do for small businesses, with a referral, made on the morning of the thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord 2015. Properly speaking, the Franciscan Brothers of Investigation did not a run a business, for they did not charge their clients, but then it was no ordinary referral, either. It would be some time before Brother Thomas would learn of the referral, but the effects of it he learned within the hour.

This is, of course, a first draft, and everything is subject to change.

By the way, if anyone is interested in being a test reader for me and reading chapters as I finish the first draft of them, let me know. (Having read my previous Brother Thomas novels is not a requirement for this.)

It’s been a difficult year for getting writing work done. Overall I’ve been doing extremely well, considering. My family is in good health and my job hasn’t been affected by COVID. The big problem is really that my children haven’t been able to go anywhere, so they’ve needed me quite a lot. Perhaps it’s ironic, but I’m an introvert who has had almost no time alone since COVID-19 hit. Things could be wildly worse, but it’s been very hard to muster up creative energy, or perhaps it’s creative focus I’ve found difficult. Anyway, between things stabilizing out a bit and I’ve been figuring out how to get my ideas in order on shorter notice and with less contiguous writing time available. This has the potential to mean that more editing time will be needed, but I’m trying to help that with more careful planning before I start. Now I’ve got so many files with notes in them that flipping between them is starting to take time!

There’s always something, isn’t there?