Romance is in the air. We celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday, a day for lovers to be together, for friends to celebrate friendship, for admirers to share their feelings. For many, this is a day to be bold. Romance requires a certain amount of boldness.
In the best romantic stories, the hero(ine) must fight for his or her love. Whether overcoming insurmountable obstacles to be with the one they love or fighting for the heart of the one they love, the heroes and heroines of classic romance understand the need to be brave. The need to be bold. Romance is not for the weak of heart.
Characters in a classic murder mystery have a similar need. A need to be brave, a need to be bold. The detective must determine not only who has the means and the opportunity, but also who has the motive, boldly digging into lives that the suspects would prefer to keep private.
Each character in a mystery must be bold, to face the inevitable confrontation with the detective, to face the other suspects without succumbing to fear, and to deal with the secrets that always lurk just below the surface of their own lives.
And of course the killer must be bold. Bold enough to hide the truth, to lie and to misdirect. Bold enough to be a worthy opponent of the detective.
I’ve hit that point in my work-in-progress when it’s time for me, as an author, to be bold. I’m putting the finishing touches on the last draft of What She Fears, book 4 in the Adam Kaminski mystery series.
It’s the last draft for now. I’m sending it off to my editor and it will come back with pages of notes, changes, revisions, additions, deletions. Some minor. Some that will require rewriting a significant portion of the text. As a writer, I dread this step. Not because of the suggestions — those will no doubt improve the work.
No, my fear is in sending this text, a text that up to now has only been seen by my eyes, out to be read by someone else. Someone out there. Someone whose interest lies not in complimenting me or praising me, but in tearing my work apart, exposing its weaknesses and highlighting its flaws.
I’m not alone in this, and I gain strength from knowing that everyone who has written their heart and soul onto a page understands this feeling. With every new draft I share, every new book I release, I swallow my fear, tuck my doubts out of sight, and bravely go where every author has gone before. It is a time to be bold.
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