A bit early and unaccustomed to me to actually do prep work...
Alas, my yearly project came to a sudden halt in June when I thought I could write while RL was tormenting me... Another try in August, with a different story, I might yet finish it, but the outlook is not good.
So I am concentrating on November. And I will actually have to do some prep for it: first ever mystery.
I have a potential victim in mind, now I need ways to murder him...
Hmm.... for the murder, one way to approach it is to consider the murderer. Is it a crime of passion, an accident, self-defense, a tragic misunderstanding, calculated homicide, or crazy rage-face? The method can sometimes give clues to the thinking (or lack there of) as to why it happened, as well as potentially exclude certain people from the suspect list. If the murder was up-close/physical like forced drowning or a beating, it could point to someone who was strong enough to overpower the vic. Unless they were hit on the head from behind, or stabbed, anyone could do that. If it's more distant, like poisoning, or gunshot, then that can widen the suspect pool. You could also combine methods, like sleep meds+drowning, so someone who was previously excluded for not matching the physicality will spring back onto the list when the autopsy report (or clues, depending on the time frame the story covers), is introduced.
The environment can play a role as well. If it happened inside then there's various objects that could act as weapons (lamp, ashtray, candlestick in the library), or even architecture like a table edge, falling down the stairs, or pushed out a window. If it's outside then you got weather, or animals, or cars/construction stuff. But it all depends on the murderer and the reasoning behind it. Once you got that locked, it's easier to narrow it down to whether it's something domestic or a bizarre case of the week. If there's more than one murderer/accomplice involved though, or a mob-type of thing, then anything goes. Same for if it's a supernatural/fantasy kind of story, where there's magic or monsters involved.
.......This makes me sound very concerning I'm sure, but I've just seen a lot of shows, okay? Monk, Psych, Detective Conan, Castle... it adds up. Actually, if you ever get stuck on the method or procedure, browse the Wikipedia episode lists for any of these kind of shows; someone's gotta have it covered.
Anyway, best of luck with the prep work, and November! Although the previous months' attempts didn't work out, that's great that you tried. I think I would like to do NaNo this year, but I'm not sure what my schedule will be like. So I'm kind of waiting and seeing.
anyhow.... this RL guy really ticked me off last year, but I still have to deal with him (likely for the next 4 years, too) So I am planning on amusing myself. hey, the best revenge is turning your opponent into your muse, right!
But I have never thought that constructing your own mystery was this difficult!
FWIW, the guy is a real pain in the butt, alienating a lot of people. (Not to mention that quiet a few people suspect him of having his hands in the cookie jar, too) I should have a nice base to draw from, right!
(though I might end up writing myself as the killer! )
Last Edit: Aug 26, 2012 22:46:35 GMT -5 by Gran Gran
That's too bad you still have to deal with that guy, but yeah, put it to good use! I had a friend in high school that did that; she wrote a bunch of short story adventures about our group, but all this bad stuff kept happening to the same guy she disliked. I'm sure it was cathartic for her, though not so much for him once he found out about it. D: But he wasn't a bad guy, they just irritated each other. /school drama
But yeah! Mysteries take a ton of foresight if you want all of the pieces to line up. Especially if there's something obscure about one of the clues/methods/motives and so requires extra research, or just getting the geography and suspect timelines in order. And it only gets more complicated the more players there are.
You could try working backwards/figuring out the ending first so you can have the clues ready to insert into the earlier chapters. Or just figure it out as you go along, and then rewrite the earlier chapters as needed to make the later stuff work. I hear writing notes/plot points on index cards can be really helpful for organizing a story as well.
(Lol! As long as you use fake names and change some of the physical descriptions, no one will know the difference should you ever publish it.)
Last Edit: Aug 31, 2012 5:10:24 GMT -5 by Musogato
LOL, I have so far stuck to the real names...well, I am so far using his real first name, because he doesn't, he goes by 'Butch' and is about the unbutchiest guy you will ever meet! I am ever so tempted to 'misspell' his name all the time!
The synopsis - so far. I hammered it out in about 5 minutes, so the writing is horrid. But the computer screen isn't wide enough to show my grin adequately. ^_______________________^
William is the pillar of the the community. Much of his spare time he spend in support of the local High school and it's Marching band. When ever anybody would see him he had a friendly smile on his face and he was ready tp spread the word about the good cause of bringing students closer to the fine art of making music.
Everybody loves him.
Everybody except the unknown person who put a 22mm slug through his head at a marching band competition. Of course the leaders of the arch rival band are prime suspects, as they compete for the same funds out of the county's coffers. And the fireworks display at the end of their show provided the perfect opportunity.
Detective Maguire is stumped.
All his other homicide cases are cut and dry. Within the hour he usually knows who pulled the trigger and before the day is over he has his man in custody.
But this case has him baffled. The prime suspects have water tight alibis it seems and while everybody is shocked at his sudden demise, nobody seems particularly troubled by the band booster's sudden demise.
Unraveling a maze of lies and deception, uncovering untruth and lies, infidelity, treachery and coverups, Detective Maguire find himself in need of the help of his estranged step brother, a graduate of the high school and the band program. Can the two unlikely partners solve the mystery before more sour notes are played?
Ah, well as long as he doesn't find it, you'll be in the clear. I was going to make a Pokemon joke about the Butch thing, but then realized you probably meant something else. Welp.
As for the synopsis, I love it! The set up sounds great, using the fireworks to cover up the gunshot is clever, and reuniting the step brothers (and maybe finding out why they were estranged?) should give the story another interesting layer. Love the music puns as well. ^^
Last Edit: Sept 8, 2012 14:02:41 GMT -5 by Musogato
Well, the guy is really short, a living, breathing band geek....thee is just nothing on him that would warrant that masculine nickname. he has 2 girls, both in the band and neither breaking the 4 foot mark (exaggerated, but not by much) and his wife was talking it up with somebody how involved they are with the program and how lucky they are both girls are in band (which is not luck, but sheer force and parental pressure...) and if they had a boy how he would play football...and I was thinking 'sheesh, neither daughter can look across a mailbox, what makes her think a boy could play football without being mistaken for the ball?!' Gosh I am mean!, I know. but there is some real stuff going on that seems to be slowly unraveling....nothing like real life inspiration....
i am a tad out of my element tho...my other stories I write by the seat of my pants...this requires planning...Like I have to ask my husband about the range of a 22 - which would be caliber, not millimeter, because that would be HUGE! (where is VP when you need him?!
Plus I have not yet decided...I might just throw that in as red herring....the RL guy is head to toe covered in pain medication patches...maybe somebody killed him with one of those...and since you can't murder a corpse....Plus you can use a supressor (AKA silencer) and then the fireworks would not even indicate the time of the shooting. ahhhhh, I am going to outwit myself! ^_^
.... I don't remember what it was. ;_; But in the show it's a running gag that no one can get his name right. Even Microsoft Word marks Butch as a misspelling and provides alternatives.
I know what you mean, I rarely fully plan out my stories before writing them as well. I like to find my premise or just randomly write particular scenes or characters that I like, and then fill in the blanks of how it all fits together as I go along. If you need research help though, you can also try the NaNo forums, particularly the reference desk -- there's a whole lot of people with a wide swath of knowledge there. Plus archives!
Ooh, twisting it up sounds interesting. Go for it!
Last Edit: Sept 26, 2012 12:16:05 GMT -5 by Musogato
Wow, that's awesome! Maybe fireworks are becoming more common? I hadn't heard of the Top Secret Drum Corps (I suppose it is right there in the name lol), but the drumming with fire looked pretty cool too.
I only wrote 2800 words the first few days before abandoning ship to draw everyday instead, but word wars sounds like a fun way to get back into it. How's it work, do we got to be online at the same time? Or just a.. write as much as you can in 15/etc minutes, whenever those 15 minutes are convenient and then post the count back here?