Cozies traditionally start in an idyllic or, at least, a well-ordered community in which the characters know their place. They know what to expect of life. They are used to malicious gossip but they are also used to solidarity and support of their neighbors.
The cozy begins by throwing the characters and their established world order into chaos. They can no longer trust each other and this leaves the way open to that other dramatic must-have: conflict.
Conflict is not bickering and quarreling –it springs from seemingly irreconcilable goals pursued by the main characters. The police detective may need to make a quick arrest for policy purposes. Amateur sleuths, even if anti-heroes , take a moral stance that forces them to seek out the real culprit.
Family conflicts, professional conflicts, eco-conflicts are all grist to the cozy mill. Local newspapers can provide a rich source of ideas for characters and conflict.
Create your characters. Let them create havoc. Then restore order.
The theme is Writing a Cozy Mystery. So why A for Audacity?
Why not A for Author?
Or A for Agatha Christie–the queen of cozies. Her first novel The Mysterious Affair at
Styles was reputedly rejected five times by publishers and her ABC Murders based on a
train timetable have a tenuous connection to the alphabet challenge of the A-Z?
Or A for Margery Allingham whose aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey attracted more intellectual readers?
You want to write a cozy mystery–so what’s audacity got to do with it?
It takes audacity–a willingness to take bold risks–as well as courage to write anything
and set it out there for the world to read. A cozy mystery may seem like a simple option
but it most certainly is not.
It takes audacity–bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints–to plan a successful
cozy where many of your characters must be audacious in every sense of the word.
Audacity is what it takes to start and finish writing an enthralling novel which relies on your “little grey cells” being as finely tuned as those of Hercule Poirot.
Action for Day 1
Read a cozy mystery. Lots of free to download examples on the web. I’m going for The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die by Sally Berneathy,. Mixed reviews but I liked the blurb and she’s a best selling author.
Action for today 2
Save time by recording your thoughts and ideas willy nilly as they come.
Audacity is easy-to-use free recording software you
can download and use exactly as is. Talk to it. . Use it to make notes on characters, plot, random thoughts and scenes as they come into your head.