Reply To: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread

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That part about her having to leave the doggo was heart wrenching. I know the feeling. So you’re keying into a key concept your book will be about (rescue dogs) and giving the reader something to empathize with. Because who hasn’t felt that “Can We Keep Him?!” moment and gotten turned down, whether it’s a rabbit, cat, dog, or baby alligator.

I do agree with Kate that mysteries usually start with something needing to be solved. There’s sometimes a little bit of an opener, like Clue before the first body drops, or a police procedural where the characters get introduced (or if it’s a series, the newest personal issue comes up), but they get to the dead bodies pretty quick. ((If I remember correctly from the other classes, this is the Becky that dies))

The mother did hire Becky, and presumably fired her so the flower shop might end up in a little legal trouble, and the daughter is a lawyer… Would that be the call that got the MC down there? You could go the same route, too. MC is feeling burnt out, and while she /could/ refer her mother to some local help, this is the perfect excuse to get out of town. Even if she’s not needed as a lawyer, the MC’s mom needs help.

IMHO, of course. Right now it’s just details, but you’ve got a good call to action. First incident is the issue with the Mother’s wrist. Second would be the MC getting the call, so it’s kind of an Opportunity/Crisis moment.

Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles


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