Could I, Should I, Would I Write a Mystery Novel?
I started this website as a way to explore these questions. Although I have a BA in English from San Diego State and an MA in English from the University of Kentucky, I still did not feel qualified to write my first novel and many doubts nagged me as I struggled with the process. I began to wonder if I needed yet another degree, one in creative writing. Over the last two years I spent time researching programs asking myself, will I be ‘good enough’ to write a novel when I’m finished? Then I said, wait a minute. Why do I need another degree when I’m not using the two I already have?
This site is an online journal of the path I have taken to work on my own novel over the years. One of the catalysts for starting it was part of a quote I came across from author and poet Marvin Bell: “genius in the arts consists of getting in touch with one’s own wiring.” The quote made start thinking about energy flowing through connections because for me, the path to writing a novel didn’t travel in a straight line. About a week later, I saw this photograph of Bay Area artist Diane Foug’s sculpture ‘Polycarbonate Tower’ (detail) in her online sketch-book. I thought, yes. This explains my hardwiring, this explains the path.
After I saw this image, I decided to write a journal about the process of writing a mystery novel because I wondered if anyone else was asking the same questions or struggling with the same doubts. The shape the entries will take will look much like the detail of Diane’s sculpture in that they will loop back into the past and curl into the present. This is not How to Write a Novel, but maybe the path I traveled to find my pattern will help you find yours.
Photograph by Diane Foug. 2012. dianefoug.com