So if you like science fiction at all, you know who Hugh Howey is. I love his work. And I admire him as a human too. His recent blog post inspired me to think more deeply about what I do with my plots. As you know, if you've read my blog before, I observe people and situations, I eavesdrop (yes, I do), I look at billboards, I read articles, whatever—and that's how the germ of an idea comes to me. Then I add the "what if..." or someone gives that to me. In Can You Picture This? a friend on the Panera patio said, "Yeah, Jer. What if that paparazzi guy rides a bicycle instead of a motorcycle or driving a car?" And off I went. (Yes, I credited him in the Acknowledgements. Didn't I, Joe?)
Anyway, Hugh's post reminded me that I ought to go a step farther. Yeah, it's funny that the dude rides a bicycle and tries to take photos. What else could be broken? Well, in that book the guy uses a Polaroid camera. That brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. And there was one other thing that I could break, and I did. But of course I can't reveal that because I want you to read the book. (It's book 3 in the Sam Darling mystery series.)
So as I sit here, thinking about book 7 (Who Dies Next?), I'm going to apply some of Hugh's ideas to the book. What idea can I take, break it, then break it again. We'll see how it works. (It worked accidentally in Can You Picture This? Now, I want to make it work on purpose.)
Hugh was talking about science fiction. I think the same ideas apply to cozy mysteries.