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Sometimes structure gets a bad name in fiction.

If you focus on structure then some will say that your story is too contrived, that it doesn’t flow naturally enough.

I was writing a fourth Duffy book when I took a year off to write a different book. I completed the thriller and am now back to the Duffy book.

Let me tell you–it is brutal coming back to a book after a long rest. It feels like editing someone else’s stuff.

I’ve also uncovered a problem. I have too many characters and story lines for a 300 page book. Wrapping them all up will mean giving short shrift and a superficial feel. i have to let go of some story lines and consolidate a few characters.

It’s almost like math. If you X number of character you can have Y number of stories and Z number of twists. play with that too much and the reader gets distracted, bored or overwhelmed. You might think you can do it but you can’t.

Evan Marshall has a book on writing mysteries and he has a chart for page count, characters and story lines. I first thought it was a little too anal–a little too formulaic.

I’m going to spend some time reviewing it today.

Then I’m going to execute some characters.