Recovering from the aftershocks of the Transcription Follies, subsequent thoughts lingered to how to make sense of the 17,000+ words written way back when (or if, in fact sense can be made from it). As the April session of Camp NaNoWritMo is fast approaching, it seemed the ideal time to use that quasi-structured challenge [quasi-structured only in the fact that one can set the goal word count in Camp NaNoWritMo, as opposed to the strict(er) 50,000 word count for the main NaNoWritMo] as a way to formally tackle this monumental task.
So, back into the Land of Exposition I went – the snow finally (!) melted away to water the lavish Plot Bunny Garden – wherein I booked my (usual) suite in the Character Development Inn. I quasi-promise one of the days, I’ll get around to writing a story series about the goings on in the Land of Exposition, its surroundings and the various Muses that reside there.
But not today.
Anyway, amid the plotting and pondering, lingering thoughts strayed to other archival research, musings and other writings (most of which were handwritten) related to The Golden Dagger Inn Mystery, most of which were interesting and unusually detailed (though not too much of it made much sense, but I suppose it did at the time). Moreover, the chapter summaries of the proposed ending seemed trite and a tad melodramatic, so the odds of finishing the novel as intended seem to be nil. Streamlining the various plotlines, as well as extricating the blatantly
stolen borrowed elements is the paramount task, to the point at which the exact story told in that (very) early draft will most likely be shelved for the moment, and paced accordingly over several stories in the second series in the three series saga of the MASC Chronicles, where the initial story was to reside in the first place.
Of course, the exposition for all the various (aforementioned) plotlines need to be fleshed out and expanded upon, wherein the (relatively) new tale is quasi-born: the story that I will (no doubt) write as my novel for Camp NaNoWritMo, instead of the (intended) revision of The Golden Dagger Inn Mystery. Whether or not that tale will be a pure mystery novel or not is debatable, though the one thing I am (rather) sure about is that it will be a tale structured around a notion I’ve been pondering ever since I started reading (and watching) mysteries: after the culprit (murderer, blackmailer, thief, etc.) is apprehended, and the loose ends are tied up in any mystery story, what happens to the people who were involved in the case afterwards? How do they move on (or do they)? How does the specter of crime affect their lives? Most mystery novels (especially if they’re stand-alone stories) end with the arrest (or perhaps death) of the criminal, and the detective(s) and their associates reflecting on the events that have occurred, sometimes with those involved with the case. I’ve always wondered what happens after the “end” of the novel (or, in the case of a TV program, what happens after the end credits).
While most mystery novels (almost) always have a good amount of narration of the events directly before the crime, there aren’t as many (to the best of my knowledge) novels that devote the same amount of narration of the events directly after the crime. There may be subsequent stories that might reference those events in passing, or characters might reappear for various reasons or under certain circumstances, usually as a quasi-antagonist or catalyst for the next case.
Then again, writing a mystery novel that deals with the events directly before and after the dénouement, with the case itself in between, will inevitably be a very long story, a story the average reader might not want to read.
Maybe the average reader might not care about what happens to victim’s family, friends, associates afterwards, and presumes they go on with their lives as normally as possible.
Maybe the average reader might not care about the ultimate fate of the criminal, and presumes the Law will punish them accordingly.
Maybe the average reader might not care about the emotional, mental, and physical toll the case has upon the investigators (private or otherwise), and presumes they just move on to the next case.
Well, I care.
I’m sure there’s more to learn about these characters after the last page, and after the fade to black.
And I plan to write about it.