Or at least I'm trying to get one lined up.
I'm holed up for the week with the hopes that by the end of it I can have an outline for a mystery, along with a couple of excellent chapters. Also, I would like to emerge from the end of this week looking like Angelina Jolie. A little magical thinking never hurt anyone, right?
At the moment I'm reading a book called HOW TO WRITE KILLER FICTION by Carolyn Wheat, and already it's saved me from thrashing about for several months, trying to figure out what I'm writing. Turns out I am writing a "novel of suspense" instead of a mystery. There's a distinction--sort of like there's a distinction between fantasy and sci-fi, although the two are always lumped in the same category. Basically, in a mystery, the detective is always several steps ahead of the reader. In a novel of suspense, the reader is often several steps ahead of the hero--or at least the reader is swept along with the hero as he/she is plunged into chaos and confusion.
Yes! I love chaos and confusion!
Other points worth noting: Wheat paraphrases one of Salinger's characters who says you should figure out what book you want to read and then write it. Well, of course! That seems so obvious! And yet I realize that for the past few years I've been trying to figure out what book my editors want to read. Hopefully I can find a plot that'll satisfy me and an editor. Who wants to pay me money.