Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Weird title? I suppose. It's because I'm writing this afternoon on TOUCH AND GO, my mystery/suspense work-in-progress. As I write, the soundtrack to "Rob Roy" is playing on the CD player (breathes there a soul who doesn't write to music?). The music naturally reminds me of the movie. In it, the title character makes certain choices, based on his best instincts--some of them work out well, some of them lead to disaster. But once he's made his choices, events progress that are out of his control. There's a slow buildup of the consequences and his subsequent actions/reactions to them, creating a sense of destiny. Was Rob doomed? What other choices could he have made, and remain himself?

That's what I'm aiming for in this next book--that linkage of action/situation building on action, leading to that same sense of inevitability in the storyline and particularly in the resolution of the story problem(s).

You find it in the best-written books, the most immortal of music. Can you think of any piece by Beethovn in which the progression of theme and note can possibly result any other way than it does?

Aim high, they say. I'm aiming high with this one.