The Murder Mystery Novel

So, in early April 2011, I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to write a murder mystery that is also a police procedural. What started out as thinking of how I would have written a certain fan fiction story I was reading, morphed into my own story. Think Law and Order and Castle TV shows and the Harry Bosch detective novels by Michael Connelly and the Inspector Lynley novels by Elizabeth George, and you have the basic idea of the flavor of my novel.

This WIP (work in progress) is tentatively titled: Man’s Inner Beast.

Thanks to the Absolute Write forums, I have learned a LOT about the writing process – not just the technical stuffs, but also about what you do after your novel is polished and ready.

Basically, a first time writer’s novel should be roughly 80,000 to 100,000 words in length. Once you’ve been published, you can write longer novels. Right now, I’m only at roughly 10,000. Although, in my defense, I have done a ton of research and have jotted down a lot of notes in my spiral notebook – things that I want to weave into the story, even if they are tiny details. Mainly, writing isn’t ALL sitting for hours at a time hammering out the story. There is a lot of research and soul searching all throughout.

Yes – I have created a murder board. I live in a small house and I do not have a lot of places I can post one on the wall or such, so I made mine out of printer paper and I keep it rolled up when I’m not looking at it. *shrugs* It works for me.

The basic plot:

When Chicago Homicide Detective Abe Brannon and his team are presented with a manuscript, written by two different people, depicting the murder of the second author and the details of the kidnapping and torture of 9 area women, the hunt is on for not only a killer but also a kidnapper who has a current victim. Through the twists and turns of the case, they find out that both their suspects are the same person … and one of their own!

The above will be the hook in my “query”, which is a short letter you write an agent to see if they want to read a partial or full copy of your manuscript. The hook will make or break your query. My hook above is still needing some major work, but since I’ve still have the better part of the novel itself to write, I’m not too worried about a polished hook at this point, especially since the novel could change at any point in the writing process.

So, what do you think? Sound intriguing? Do I have a chance? Or should I murder my murder board?

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