A friend and I met last Thursday, for lunch and a writer’s blab, as we do every week. Sometimes we just talk writing, and other times we work, writing longhand or on our laptops. This was a longhand session, sort of, maybe more of an organize-my-notes kind of session.
I’m writing a new book, inspired by a phrase my son gave me last fall. I liked it and have used it as the title of the new work, “Where the Forest Meets the Corn.”
It’s a murder mystery, and though I know who the killer is and why he kills, I didn’t do the “Plotter” kind of preparation that I usually do. This has been a work in progress in more ways than one.
As I was making notes about things I needed to add, things I needed to change, I had an idea I was unsure of and wanted to talk it out with my friend. So, there we were in the coffee shop, at noon, surrounded with the lunch time crowd and I’m talking about this dilemma with my characters.
There are these three girls who were BFFs all through school, and now, five years later, two of the three are still friends, one has moved away, and separated herself from the group. For the two who are still friends, living in the same town where they grew up, murder happens. One of the girls is murdered, and there’s my query. Would the remaining friend inform the old friend now living out of town?
This is the question I put to my friend. Would she inform an ex-friend? We talked about it like it was a real event. What this remaining friend was like, why the third girl had separated from the group. We decided the remaining friend would not call the third girl, old resentments being what they are. Problem solved.
Unbeknownst to me, a young man was sitting at the next table and had apparently been listening to our conversation. When I spoke of murder, his behaviour changed and he quickly finished his lunch and left the building. My friend had been watching him and his growing sense of alarm.
Hello…it’s fiction, it’s not real. Honest, I haven’t murdered anyone, well, not personally anyway, on paper doesn’t count.
I guess I’m going to have to be careful what I say in public, and heaven forbid anyone see the stuff on my History and Favourites list, that might be a bit disturbing. Research, I swear, it’s just research.