Apr. 28th, 2017

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I wrote earlier this month that I was a bit stuck on the writing front. I have now gotten somewhat unstuck. Part of what makes mysteries work is that multiple characters need to have Something They Want Hidden. For one of the characters, that's the fact that they killed Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a candlestick (or whatever works for your story).

For the other characters, this hidden thing doesn't have to be a murder. It doesn't even have to be illegal per se, just something that they don't want revealed. It can help even more if that thing which must be hidden also gives them some combination of motive, means and opportunity to kill Colonel Mustard. (Access to the candlestick and a dislike of Mustard's long-winded stories of the Army in India, for example.)

I have come across just such a motivator. Stolen Valor. For those not clicking through, "stolen valor" is when somebody falsely claims to have been a hero in the military. So, in my WIP, I have a character who is something of a lady's man. Well, what if part of his shtick is "I was a Green Beret in Vietnam" or some such lie?

In my story, the first dead body we find is that of a military veteran. Maybe my vet, suspicious, has done some digging and found out that Mister Green Beret never really served? Even better, in my case, we find that one of his (underage) ex-girlfriends was killed and buried under a shed. Maybe she got rummaging around in his stuff and found something incriminating?

Now I just have to find the time to write all this stuff!

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