It's Puzzling by Lala Corriere

Imagine you have a colossal jigsaw puzzle. Now imagine you don’t know how many pieces it contains, but somewhere between 75,000 and 90,000. A best guess. It’s not labeled on the box.
That’s what I have in front of me. A new manuscript. Pieces of rough outlines, scores of sticky notes and hundreds of untamed ideas. They'll need to be moved around and sorted, because I always start with the flat-edged pieces that I know will make up the border.
            For me, the border represents the foundation of my manuscript. It encases my growing cast of characters to include the protagonist, the nefarious, along with a slate of voices important to the story. Settings become clear. At the very least, a vague plot is formed. Whether I write as a plotter or a panster, I have to start somewhere.
Some of the pieces don't fit quite right. I try to jam them into place to make them work. Some of the pieces go in smoothly and I can begin to see the storyboard that is my book.
I’m missing some puzzling pieces. I can’t tell you how many times my writing enters my dreams. I try to scribble illegible notes down in the dark. I wake up, and some of my thoughts are plain stupid. Others, I can’t quite remember when I knew they would be perfect.
Another piece, I painfully toss out. That piece would be the perfect scene that did not move my story forward.
A big part of the puzzle is that we fiction authors are liars. We make things up. It’s remembering all those lies that gets tricky. I love this part! Tying up all the loose ends by remembering where the pieces went. Every puzzling piece must be integral to the whole picture.
This is the best analogy I have for you on writing a novel. For those of you who are new to writing, or just curious, less than one percent of the population that sits down to write their great American novel actually completes it. This remains true, even in today’s saturated digital book market.
And yet the process is a bit like that of an explorer. You can celebrate knowing that you have the vision. This is your decision to write your book. You can rejoice in knowing that you are overcoming all of your obstacles. Your words are unfolding faster than you can type them. You will then dance the victory dance when you see all of those words fill the blank pages. And then, and only then, you realize The End, when your journey is documented. A finished novel.

Today I wish you many celebrations along your journey as a writer, reader, and amazing puzzler!

"Success is falling nine times and getting up ten."
                                                   ~Jon Bon Jovi


Just when romance author Chyna Blaze gives up her haunting past, she has a new problem. Her peers are being knocked-off. The detective insists she’s high on the list.
Her publicist arranges the date with a well-known literary giant. Chyna finds the idea annoying, but harmless.

Orson Locke quit writing, but not his vices. He likes his sugar straight out of cans of white icing, chased by bourbon, and Poe. He likes his temptations well-sated.

Bio: Lala Corriere

Since early childhood, Lala has been passionate about all the arts. She is a painter and a former stage performer. Early work careers blended high-end real estate sales and serving as president of an interior design firm.

Her fifth grade teacher, Miss Macy, was the to suggest she consider a career in writing. That extension of the arts, the written word, turned into a full time passion in 2001.

Career Highlights:

  • Endorsement and long-term mentorship by the late Sidney Sheldon
  • USA Today articles and review.
  • Published in regional magazines, newspapers, writer’s guides and journals.
  • Award winning poetry.
  • Endorsements from Andrew Neiderman [Devil’s Advocate], J Carson Black, KT Bryan, CJ West, Paris Afton Bonds, and many others remarkable authors.
Titles Include:

  • Widow’s Row
  • CoverBoys & Curses
  • Evil Cries
  • Kiss and Kill.
  • Bye Bye Bones, coming 2015

Readers and reviewers applaud her hallmark original plots, her in-depth character portrayals, rich scene settings, and authentic dialogue, all delivered with a fresh new voice. Oh, and her TWISTS! With her recent visit to Italy and riding the trains, her sixth book, Tracks, is taking shape.
Lala is a desert rat. She nestles there with her husband of over 25 years along with Finnegan & Phoebe— Teacup Yorkies.

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This is an excellent post. You are so right--as mystery authors we must create the puzzle and then make sure all the pieces are there to fill it in. said…
Thank you for your comment, Marilyn!

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