Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 2, 2020

What Should I write about?

I have asked myself this question many times. I would imagine every writer has at one time or another.

I enjoy writing in four main areas:

  1. Suspense novels
  2. Plays for the stage
  3. Blog posts
  4. Kid lit

Every time I get ready to begin a new work, I ask myself the above question. “What should I write about?”

My suspense novels tend to focus on the intricacies of human relationships and the way circumstances infuse tensions into those relationships.

Most of my plays are comedic and written for family friendly audiences.

I enjoy blogging about writing and about living in a small town.

In my Kid lit stories I like to include a hidden lesson while entertaining my readers.

But that doesn’t mean I still don’t ask myself “What should I write about?”

So where do I get my ideas?

My suspense novels might indirectly come from a real-life event, or a person I think would make a great character. I also like to set my suspense novels in NW Ontario because it’s where I live, and also because there aren’t many (if any) using this setting. Usually I start with one aspect and build from there. I like to use the WHAT IF technique to get my plot rolling.

When it comes to my play scripts, I tend to start with deciding on my characters. I’ve done a pirate play, a couple of plays involving hillbillies, stereotypical melodrama characters, and a quirky rich cast of family and friends in my murder/mystery to name a few. Once I have established “who” will be in the play, then my storylines seem to come quite quickly.

I started blogging as a way to connect with other writers and also to share any knowledge I gained along the way. Having had some success being published in children’s magazines, Writer’s Digest, and with a small book publisher, I experienced querying, revising, contracts, royalties, promotion and everything else that comes with trying to be a writer. I’ve been blogging about writing since 2007, so it does get harder to find new topics that haven’t been done to death, but with every new step I take in my writing endeavours, there’s bound to be something new to blog about.

Originally, when I began pursuing writing, I focused on writing for children and tweens. I had pieces published in several well-known children’s magazines. I also wrote several plays for children to perform. I even ventured into the rhyming PB genre for a bit. Writing for children needs to stay current. What kids read ten years ago isn’t what necessarily draws todays kids to a book. Observing kids, listening to kids and interacting with kids allows for new ideas in this genre.

So whatever area of writing entices you, look…listen…interact…and you will definitely be able to answer the question: “What should I write about?”

January 2, 2016

The Cozy Mystery Genre

Last fall I had an idea for a quirky character, followed by some snippets of a plot.  Soon, I had an entire town sketched into my notebook and descriptions of a half dozen characters who lived there.  Thus began my foray into the cozy mystery genre with a book I’m thinking of calling, “Quick – pass the Chips”.

Also called Cozies, the Cozy Mystery is an offshoot of crime fiction and is usually a more lighthearted read.  With less emphasis on sex and violence, the plots contain elements of humor and the detective, or sleuth is often a woman.  (Remember the TV show, Murder She Wrote?  Think Jessica Fletcher, amateur sleuth and mystery writer, played by Angela Landsbury.  She’s an excellent example of the type of character one would find in a cozy mystery).

Recently, I received some books from author, Mary McHugh, about a group of 50-something tap dancing ladies who end up solving murders in the locales where they are performing.  We had connected years ago because, as a tap dancing adult, I was intrigued by her idea to have this group of dancing ladies as her sleuths.  Needless to say, I’m enjoying the books. (I will be interviewing Mary later this month for my blog so stay tuned).  The titles are:  “Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses”, “Cancans Croissants, and Caskets” and “Flanco, Flan, and Fatalities.”  The books are available at amazon.com.

For more information on the cozy mystery genre, check out these links:
http://www.cozy-mystery.com/definition-of-a-cozy-mystery.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cozy_mystery
http://www.cozy-mystery.com/
http://www.marymchugh.org/books.html

 

 

 

 

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