One of my editors messaged me as she was going through the Stolen Gems manuscript.
“Sooooo, can you explain this scene? The person jumped from this place to this? Did Melody and Brandon see them from the Rose Garden? Where were they sitting? Where is that in relation to this place…”
The conversation went back and forth as I explained what was happening in the scene and how the characters were moving in between a few different places.
Her questions made me aware that sometimes more explanation is needed in action scenes so the reader can visualize what is going on.
As a writer, one of my biggest fears is that the readers will get bored and put the book down. Even worse, I’m afraid they’ll never pick it up again, the sign of a truly not interesting piece of fiction (and mystery). Because of this fear, I have a tendency to move too quickly through scenes, leaving out important details.
The conversation with L gave me another idea. What if I created maps to put in the books? That way, readers can read about the place plus get a visual. I used to love when there were maps inside of the print editions of a beloved book or tucked into different pages in the chapters. I’d use my index finger to figure out where things were and imagine what it would look like if I was walking through the scene.
I did end up creating a map of Stonybrooke for you to use and glance at as you read through Wedding Disaster (or the first book, Christmas Crisis).
The map didn’t look quite right when I added it to the book. Hopefully, in future editions, we’ll get the graphics right and put it in the book. In the meantime, enjoy this map of Stonybrooke and…enjoy Wedding Disaster!
If you’d like to read an excerpt of the second book in the Friday Friends Dinner Club Mystery series, you can read the blog post where the first two chapters are here.