investigative 2

my neighbor is quoted: see bottom of picture-linked essay

To read part one of investigative, click here.

I’m not yet embroiled in the investigation, but must, like any detective, do the legwork, tedious inspection of clues no matter how trivial or overblown. Much is needed. Lots of background on the ‘ 98 ice storm and other winter storms germane to the thoughts and actions of characters. This kind of work is, well, work. Something much more interesting to me is building the mystery-story structure. Also, My imagination’s been marinating in enjoyable stories of detection by various authors in both print and unabridged audio versions. It’s said Sayers immersed in mysteries before writing them. I have how-to books but don’t plan to read them… unless I get stuck?


Roughly 700,000 of Maine‘s 1.2 million residents were without electricity, the Maine National Guard was mobilized, and hundreds of utility crews from as far away as North Carolina arrived to help.[14]

Structure is what holds the attention, keeps people reading. I fancy every type of writing involves structuring. Suspense can only be maintained through structure. Even granular grammatical suspense — which is seldom noticed — arranges narrative (whether fiction or non) to keep interest. But sometimes it frustrates the reader. I try not to engage noticeable frustration, however. So, truly, there is no thrill like being suspended above a volcano while engaging political debate, for instance.

Throwing the reader wide can help structuring. As to whether or not The God’s Cycle is dead, as I look into the matter at here at The Green and Blue House, I’m finding that entertainment upfront might suffice to bring the attention under control just enough to slip in a little murder without too much bother. There is a problem with this approach, however. What is entertainment? — each audience member determines this. So you see where the difficulty is. If I, as writer, am having a good time, it does not mean the reader will be. Often we hear of the phenomenon of famous knockdown comics asking one another on the heels of rehearsal, and just before they go on, Is it funny? They really want it to be, and, surprisingly, don’t know if it is. There’s humility in this… unless they’re engaging a rhetorical “knock-on-wood”?

The book in hand would be labeled generic “mystery.” A reader expects murder may be in the offing (so to speak). So the writer decides on distraction to set up her initial scaffold.

Just to get your mind off murder.

So the glaze of ice begins building. That’s one headline in the block of reportage I’ve been forced to read to make firm this story’s background and setting. Work. But as I go along, I’m discovering enjoyment in reading this stuff. I no longer feel that, if my mystery story doesn’t work out, I won’t be rewarded in research. Definitely, this is all reward. Like with writing itself, the reward is in the doing. If it turns out to be… not so entertaining, I’d still have my reward. Writerly is in the writing itself, not in the success.

Is it funny? We’ll see.


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