Tag Archives: goals

What Its Really Like to Write Mystery Fiction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hello Writer Bees!

Over the years, I’ve received comments and questions about what writing my whodunit is like. Plenty of times, I’ve talked about my murder mystery WIP here on this blog. My main characters have even appeared in a short story or two. When I started this blog, I wanted to help encourage other writers in their creative endeavors. However, I also wanted to share my honest experience as a writer. The ups and downs that come with a writer’s journey to publication.

So, in the spirit of May of Mystery and sharing my writer life, here what’s its really like to write a mystery.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Why I Chose to Write a Murder Mystery

When I was in college, My interest in the mystery genre grew. I started reading detective fiction, like Holmes, Poirot, Marlowe, etc. Those books inspired me to imagine my own dynamic duo. At the time, I was writing an epic fantasy story – which didn’t get past chapter two – and the detective on the back burner kept nagging me, “write about us instead!”. Then, when I finally had the opportunity to give mystery writing a shot – in fiction writing class, no less – I fell in love with my sleuths and their sleuthing and the 1920s NYC setting.

Looking back, I’m not surprised I chose to write a mystery, based on my personal story preferences. Plot twists, complex characters and dialogue-heavy tales are a thrill to read. There’s something oddly satisfying about an extraordinary event happening then unraveling to reveal the truth. It’s like that feeling of fitting the last piece of the puzzle into place. That’s what a good mystery is, right? Something out-of-the-ordinary suddenly becomes a clear picture. It’s exciting, magical even.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Creating the characters is my favorite part. Suspects are awesome to craft, giving each character probable cause and motive to commit the crime. Nothing in this kind of story is black and white. Every character has their good and bad traits, and everyone has the potential for evil. You don’t know who to trust. That’s what makes suspect characters – and sleuthing protagonists – feel realistic.

Dropping clues can be fun too. Like I’m some Easter Bunny leaving presents behind. Let me just hide this bloody murder weapon behind this bush. Since my murder mystery is set in 1924, it’s an extra challenge. No modern technology is present and forensics is minimal. I really have to consider what would be evidence in a murder investigation for this specific time period.

And it sounds cliché to say, but I really do like my detective protagonist and his assistant. Detective Barnaby and Oscar Fitzgerald have this great banter that’s a pleasure to write. I enjoy writing about them investigating together. I wonder if Doyle felt the same way about writing Holmes and Watson’s relationship. When an audience is reading a mystery, they connect to the detective. They root for the hero(es) to unravel the mystery.

Tricky Business

For me, outlining and narrative pacing are my weakest points as a writer. Always have been. I’m working on it. Structuring the sequence of events in a mystery can be difficult sometimes. Timing is everything. When do the readers and the detective learn this piece of information? Is it too early in the plot? Too late? Does this timeline make sense for this investigation? I’m still learning how to perfect the perfect outline.

Also, I’ve been told my pacing is too fast. My narrator is a fast talking New Yorker, how could I not tell a story with some pep in its step? Finding the right tempo is tricky. I’m learning I don’t have to speed through things to keep readers engaged. It can’t all be drama filled and actioned packed. There needs to be moments of relief, a calm pause now and then, to break up all the excitement. All while maintaining the intrigue of a mystery.

What You’d Be Surprised About

With any genre, I’d imagine there’s some level of research involved. Some of it can be lovely, like researching 1920s fashion. Often times, the search history on my computer – or my wandering thoughts in general – can lead to pretty disturbing things. Most mysteries involve murder, so I have to consider all elements of death. Cause of death, details of a corpse, crime scenes, blood and guts. It’s not for the faint of heart. And when creating suspects, I have to highlight the worst in people. Does this make me a dark and twisted person? Probably.

Final Thoughts

Look, this is my first time writing a full length novel. I don’t have all the answers. Writing is a constant learning process. But I’m happy I have this blog to share my writer experience. Mystery writing is a challenge, it’s true. In the end, getting through these challenges will have been worth it, because I will have a complete murder mystery story to be proud of.


Hope this post gave you a little insight into my experience as an mystery writer. If you want more posts on my personal writer journey, let me know in the comments.

For the mystery writers out there, what is your experience writing mysteries? For all creators, what is your biggest challenge crafting a story? What is your favorite part of writing? Talk to me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

My Writer Goals for 2021

Happy New Year, Writer Bees! 

Congratulations, we have survived 2020. It’s been a crazy year, but we made it. 

Looking back at my 2020 resolutions, I’m surprised at the goals I set before the pandemic. Yes, I’ve been writing more often, which is awesome. And I’ve been focusing on staying positive, even in the midst of all this chaos.

There’s this particular quote that’s giving me hope of this upcoming new year. After the plague, came the renaissance. I truly believe artists from all backgrounds will find inspiration and make the world beautiful again with art, music, dance and stories. I only wish to be a small piece of this renaissance.

So, without further ado, here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2021.

Create New Content

While my new job is taking up a lot of my time, I still want to create content on this blog. I have some ideas brewing for future posts. In the comments, let me know what kind of content you want to see more of. Writing tips? Short stories? More on my writer experience? I’m curious about what you guys think. All I want to do is create engaging content for all of your readers. That’s a big goal for me this year.

Finish my WIP 

Isn’t this my new year’s resolution every year? Yes, yes it is. I want to finally finish – and hopefully publish – my mystery WIP. Since NaNoWriMo, I’ve been working on my story a little bit everyday. In the chaos and depression of 2020, my motivation has its highs and lows. Despite that, I’ve actually been making progress on my WIP. Could this be the year? I really hope so. 

Gain Confidence

This is just a general goal. Sometimes, I struggle with feeling anxious and insecure, and I want to find confidence in myself, in all that I do. In my work, in my writing, in my relationships, I want to learn how to keep my chin up and not be so hard on myself. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I think I’m starting this next chapter in my life, and I want to be braver. Brave enough to face what’s to come.


What are your goals for 2021? What do you hope to accomplish in the new year? Talk to me in the comments!

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

December Writing Goals – NaNoWriMo Continues?

December is here. The New York Winter chill is upon us. NaNoWriMo 2020 is officially over. Or is it?

Even though I did not reach my word count goal this month, It’s fine, I still feel like a NaNo winner. No matter how many words you wrote, you should still feel like a winner. Any amount of progress is to be celebrated.

Frankly, National Novel Writing Month was a great experience for me. I’ve met some extraordinary writers here on WordPress and on Twitter. Seriously, you guys are incredibly talented. I love hearing about your story ideas as well as your experience as writers. We’re all in this writing community, we need to stick together and support one another.

I’ve actually added words to my WIP. For a long while, I wasn’t writing much. I felt stuck in my plot and completely unmotivated to fix it. The self doubt was heavy on my shoulders. NaNoWriMo pushed me to write. To write regularly, on an almost daily basis. Inspired me to add new scenes, to give my characters complexity and to be more creative. And the world needs creativity now more than ever.

So, to keep momentum going, I’m going to continue to write like it’s NaNoWriMo into December. And maybe even into the new year. I’m holding onto this newfound spark for all it’s worth. For my writing project,  I’m still hovering around the halfway mark, only a couple thousand away from my original goal of 20K. The finish line seems so far away, I’m still battling my fear of never completing my WIP.

Will 2021 be the year I finally finish and publish my novel? I really do hope so.

Thank you for the support and love, writer bees. Sending you all the positive writer vibes.


How was your NaNoWriMo experience? Did you reach your goal? How is your writer spirit feeling? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you all. And check out this week’s writing prompt.

Stay safe and keep writing!

—-Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2020 – A Slow Start (Week One)

Hello writer bees!

Hope everyone has had a productive start to National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been following a bunch of amazing writers on Twitter, reading their excerpts and praising their impressive word counts. Seriously, some of you are incredibly talented and really crushing November. Hats off to you folks. You are doing great!

Unfortunately, I’ve had a slow beginning to NaNoWriMo.

Of course I got super sick the first weekend of November. Of course I did. While everyone else got a jumpstart on writing, I was curled up with cramps all weekend. And then, when I started to feel better, the election happened. (And kept happening.)

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been a bundle of stress and anxiety for the past couple days. Between NaNo and this seemingly never-ending election alone, my brain is fried.

See the source image

However, I’m trying to make up for lost time. Writing during lunch breaks at work and after hours. I’ve added a few thousand to my overall wordcount. Maybe about 3,000 words this week? Not a big leap, but hey, progress is progress. Sticking with my untraditional goals, nothing has been deleted, no matter how badly I want to. Plus, that twinkle of motivation is returning to my work, which is what NaNoWriMo is all about, right?

Yes, It’s been a slow start for me. I have not given up yet. Slowly but surely, this WIP will get finished. Eventually. Shout out to my lovely boyfriend for being supportive and providing snacks during this crazy time. I plan to spend this weekend doing some writing sprints, boost my word count up and workshop some new ideas for scenes. That’s the hope anyway. Cross your fingers for me.

See the source image

To all those participating in National Novel Writing Month, best of luck in your writing endeavors. No matter how many words you write, celebrate every victory.

How is your NaNoWriMo journey going? What is your project? What are your goals for the month? And seriously, how are you feeling, you know, emotionally? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you.

Safe safe and keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Toss a Coin to your Blogger!

Buy me a cup of tea during NaNoWriMo?

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My Untraditional NaNoWriMo Plans

Hello Writer bees!

It’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo season. Can you believe it?

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a non-profit that supports creative writing and educational programs for aspiring writers.  It’s also an event that challenges writers across the country to write 50,000 during the month of November. With National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, this really is a fun opportunity to connect with other writers and share creative projects.

Which leads me to the big question you’re probably wondering:

Am I participating this year?

Short answer? Yes, of course, I wouldn’t miss it! Maybe fourth time is the charm.

Here’s the thing. My goals for this year’s NaNoWriMo are untraditional, to say the least. Some probably won’t be impressed. However, they are the writing goals I’m shooting for nonetheless. And who knows? Maybe they will change during my NaNo adventure.

My NaNoWriMo Goals

  • Write 20,000(ish) by November 30th. Not the usual 50,000. Keep in mind, my WIP is well underway word count wise.
  • Push past writer’s block and self doubt.
  • Write without deleting or editing. This has been a problem for me in Previous NaNoWRiMo trips.

I’ll admit, my WIP has been stuck lately. Writer’s block is intense, as is the writer’s doubt. Feel like I just need to get over this hill to make it to the finish line. I’m using NaNo as a vehicle to get… unstuck. To workshop new ideas and to gain momentum once again. My greatest hope is to have a finished story by the end of it.   

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Whenever I see other writers preparing for National Novel Writing Month, my heart swells with pride. Seriously, you all are remarkable. The way some of you are prepping inspires me. I only wish to have a morsel of that enthusiasm. Here’s how I’m getting ready for the main event.

  • Straighten out plot outline (again)
  • Create an aesthetic and inspiration board/file.
  • Flushing out characters.
  • Brainstorm possible additional scenes.
  • Organize all these sticky notes! They’re everywhere!

In an effort to share my journey with those interested, I’ll be posting weekly updates on this blog and staying active on Twitter during NaNoWriMo. I look forward to connecting with more fellow writers out there. As always, thank you guys so much for following my writer adventures. Your support means everything.


Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? How are you prepping? How are you feeling emotionally? What are your writing goals? Talk to me in the comments, I love to hear from you!

Stay safe and keep writing!

Love, Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: August Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Wow. It’s August already. Time to set some new writing goals.

If you’d like, take a look at my July goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write 200-300 words a day.
  • Brainstorm WIP (in general).
  • Write a short story for the blog.
  • Straighten out the clues of the mystery story.

Reading Goals

  • Read something in fantasy genre.
  • Keep reading over draft.

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Writer On: July Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

July was a rough month. Did I reach my goals? Keep reading to find out.

If you’d like, take a look at my June and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write 200-300 words a day. – Well, I wrote more than usual this month. Not everyday though. However, I learned that smaller daily goals work better for me than larger weekly goals. That’s helpful to know moving forward.
  • More research on 1920s (to help with descriptions). – Yeah, I’ve done some research, making sure things are historically accurate as possible. Also, found some sweet references on the 1920s. I will continue to research more about the time period.
  • Tweak character profiles. – Creating complex characters is my main goal in writing. So, the suspects of my mystery WIP all got some TLC this month. Adding little backstory details and distinct personality traits made them feel more realistic.
  • Write a short story for the blog. – I did not. Wish I did though.

Reading Goals

  • Read a new book. (Maybe Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet) – You got to hand it to Doyle for writing the dynamic duo of detective fiction. That story gave me ideas on how I introduce my two sleuths.
  • Keep reading over draft. – My WIP is all garbage, but I kept reading. Found a bunch of sentences to cut out. Found more places that need work. I have a long way to go before it’s even close to perfect.

Do small or large word count goals work better for you? How did your writing endeavors go this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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400 Followers, 300 Posts and One Giant Thank You!

Hello writer bees!

Today is the day for celebrating milestones.

Lady Jabberwocky has reached 400 followers.

Plus, I’ve written my 300th post for this blog.

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, these are small accomplishments. However, amidst the gloom and doom, I’m trying to grasp those specks of goodness in my life.

There was a time when I had a WordPress account but was too scared to post anything. Would anybody really care about what I had to say? Now, 300 posts later, I never thought this humble blog would go this far.

Not only do I share my experience as a writer here, Lady Jabberwocky is my way of supporting other writers. That will always be the main goal behind my content.

Thank you for every like, comment, follow and share.

All the love and support from you wonderful folks keeps me going.

Feel free to take a look at my most recent posts.

– Lady Jabberwocky

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Writer On: July Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Time to fly by July and set some new writing goals.

If you’d like, take a look at my June and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write 200-300 words a day.
  • More research on 1920s (to help with descriptions).
  • Tweak character profiles.
  • Write a short story for the blog.

Reading Goals


What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: June Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

While the world turned upside down, did I reach my writing goals for this month? Keep reading to find out.


Writing Plans

  • Try to write a little everyday. – Slowly but surely, this novel is getting written. I still have my battles with writer’s block, like everyone does. However, I’m still trying to write a little each day. Even if it’s like 100 words. Something is something.
  • Decide whether to cut character out of story or not. For the past few weeks, I’ve been think about removing a character from the story. He wasn’t a bad character, far from it. He just didn’t fit well into the cast of characters. I forced him into scenes he didn’t need to be a part of. Once I trimmed this character out, I was actually relieved and excited about changing things up. Hopefully, my writer instinct is right on this decision.
  • More research on the roaring 1920s. – The setting of my WIP is 1920s New York City. When writing historical fiction, research is crucial. I felt a bit disconnected from that time period. This month, I took more time to do more research, finding vintage photos and new sources. And my Brooklyn in the 1920s book is a helpful companion on my bookshelf too.

Reading Goals

  • Read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald A good read, in my opinion. The story centers around Zelda Fitzgerald and her relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you are interested in this iconic couple or the roaring twenties, I recommend this book!
  • Continue to read over draft.Oh, my poor WIP. So much to do, so little time. Honestly though, reading over the draft shows me what work needs to be done, especially now that I’ve remove a character altogether. And reading it through helps with writer’s block too.

How did your writing endeavors go for this month? Talk to me in the comments! I love to hear from you guys. Also, click those links please, it helps support this blog.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter