I had an idea. The idea was to expand my first novel, The Madonna Ghost, by explaining how I wrote it. That idea grew out of a workshop I did for libraries and other groups called “So You Want to Write a Story”. I wasn’t focusing on the writing but on the publishing and marketing, but the questions I was asked, especially from young participants, revolved around plot, setting, and character.

I realized that I was getting way ahead of the members of my group. They were still figuring out how to tell that story. So, it got me to thinking how I approached the three big items in fiction and other genres. In all my books I try to make the setting so vivid it becomes a character in its own right. My main characters must be liked and even loved by my readers. How did I do that? And the plot must drive the characters in such a way that you must keep turning those pages.

My plan to answer these questions spurred me to take The Madonna Ghost and explore setting, character, and plot by adding explanatory material at the end of each chapter.

  • For example, here is what I did to explain how Fire Island, the setting, comes alive in the book. pages 15-18, and 145-152
  • Here is how I made Ty Egan, Annie’s boyfriend, come alive for my readers. Pages 36-37 and pages 173-177
  • And plot, the most complicated element of a mystery, see pages 138-144.

You can get a FREE Kindle copy of Making a Mystery with Annie Tillery on Amazon.

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