Fragment of a story

Every now and then a scene pops into my head, quite unconnected to anything I am working on. It nags at me until I have to write it down to get rid of it. Here is the most recent one:

It was not long into the dinner given by Lord Alfred Nelthorpe for a select group of friends that the Honorable Thomas Radclyffe fell face down into the new peas on his plate.

Lord Alfred’s nose twitched in distaste, but he made no comment. A lifted finger was enough to signal his butler, who in turn signaled to the footmen with a raised brow. Two footmen removed Mr. Radclyffe’s chair from the table and then removed Mr. Radclyffe to the library, the usual repository of guests who had overimbibed. Two more footmen removed Mr. Radclyffe’s place setting. This took slightly longer as they were careful not to chip the crystal or smudge the silverware, but five minutes later it was as if Mr. Radclyffe had never been.

He was quite forgotten until the following morning when a housemaid entered the library to open the draperies and sweep out the fireplace. She took one look at Mr. Radclyffe, staring at the ceiling with the blank eyes of the dead, and began to scream.

Now, what am I supposed to do with this? It sounds as if it is the beginning of a mystery, but I don’t really write mysteries. I could, but the real problem is that I have no idea what happens next.

Is a puzzlement.

In writing


I LOVE this - please continue!

Perhaps Mr. Radclyffe had just roused, hungover and fearing to move or blink or breathe due to the drilling in his head. And perhaps, the housemaid's scream was, at first, like the trumpets calling Mr. Radclyffe to heaven where he imagined he would be pain free. Alas, his pain grew to unbearable and he held his head, praying for the world to end...and yet, this was just beginning.



Our choir director wrote and

Our choir director wrote and published anthems. When an idea came to him he would immediately write it down (even in the choir loft during the Sunday Morning sermon!).

Someone in the choir asked him about this. He said he had a stack of these in his disk. He put each new fragment at the bottom of a stack in a desk drawer. Each day he'd look at the top one. Sometimes he'd work on one, sometimes he'd discard it, and sometimes it would go back to the bottom of the stack untouched.

Do you think this method (or some variation there of ) might work for you.

Like the above poster, I'd truly like to know more about this, but only your subconscious can know if you have a story.

As to historic romance mysteries, they DO exist. And very good ones also. So this method might tell you what you should do with your fragments, giving your writing side time to play with the ideas.

Thanks, Sue. I do actually

Thanks, Sue. I do actually have a long list of ideas (about 80 at this point) and the books I've written all started with something like this. Into the file it goes!

Lillian, I do agree it sounds

Lillian, I do agree it sounds like the beginning of a mystery. One with a lot of humor--my favorite kind! It reminds me of the pilot for L.A. Law (going back a long way, I know, but that's about as recent as my TV-watching days are), when a senior partner of the law firm face-planted in a plate of . . . spaghetti, I think. Anyway, my immediate reaction was this was a show I had to watch. And I did, for several years. That wasn't a murder, just a massive heart attack, I think.

Anyway, if you don't know what to do with it now, just hang on to it. I'll bet your subconscious will work on it and provide the "what to do with it" or at least give you more pieces of it, and it will gradually come together.

I do like a plot for my

I do like a plot for my stories. Maybe mystery is a good direction.

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