Well, it seems at least for now that the mystery novel was a bust. I got 140 pages or so in, and it fizzled. I just can't seem to get into it, and the story is stalling all over the place. I tried to figure out why, and there are a couple of reasons. First, I had a REALLY hard time getting the tone down. I wanted to try a witty mystery a la Veronica Mars, and it just never got there. The main character never popped for me. Two, being tethered to one character in the real world just didn't sustain my interest. I felt so tied to a "this is what he's doing, next is this, next is this" and the story didn't lend itself to that. I felt like I was cheating when I skipped sections of time, like I needed to explain what happened in the interim, even if nothing happened. Getting from event to event was torturous because the story didn't call for it.
In my second book, Sparks, I follow one character the whole way through, but the timeline is so compressed that it works. The nature of the story I was telling in this mystery simply didn't lend itself to a day to day accounting, and I couldn't figure out how to move forward in time with the voice I was using.
So, I'm putting it aside for now. Maybe someday I'll come back to it. I still think the base story is good, the mystery is good enough (I can't imagine people would figure it out, though it makes total sense), and I LOVE a couple of the scenes in it. Maybe one day I'll rescue it.
But for now, I've started on something else. I've been throwing around in my mind the idea of a novel about theater, but couldn't latch onto any idea. Caitie spoke with an agent she worked with during her internship last Thursday who loves theater. When she was telling me about the conversation with him, the idea snapped into place. In the last three days I've written twenty pages, and I pretty much know where the story is going. I have four main characters I can bounce around between, and I like these four characters. I have a mode for TELLING the story. Best of all, because it's a theater story, I can totally geek out with references and such and it's making me VERY happy to write this story!