Saturday, March 3, 2012

Planning evil deeds in a newsroom is not an easy task

A newspaper is a really hard place to commit a dastardly deed - even fictionally speaking. I discovered this recently as I was writing the sequel to my first book, Death on Deadline.

Death on Deadline is a light-hearted mystery novel that centers on a crime that's committed in a newsroom. I don't want to give it all away, but suffice it to say that there's a nasty editor whose

days of slicing and dicing the copy of reporters is numbered.

Anyway, in the sequel, which I'm working hard to finish and is tentatively titled Paper Cut, I decided to off yet another person in a newsroom. (Apparently I have issues).

But because of the circumstances, I needed someone to find the body. You know, because it's a MYSTERY. In Death on Deadline, the editor was pretty much killed in plain sight - the killer was just that sneaky.

Not so in Paper Cut. Someone needs to actually find the victim - which means the newsroom has to be EMPTY. I never even thought of the difficulty of that scenario when I was plotting my victim's demise.

Because here's the thing: Newsrooms are never empty. If I were a killer, I would never feel confident that I had my victim alone in one. There's always a reporter, editor, photographer or copy editor wandering in, checking a schedule, eating a sandwich, writing some copy or bringing in equipment for repair.

It took some serious rewriting, and a lot of creativity to make it work. I might have to find a new venue for my next foray into fiction.

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