The Mystery Writer: What happens between the first word and the last?

Behind each book we write is a great mystery we don’t often tell.

JUST HOW DO ideas and thoughts and dreams and nightmares become stories, then books?

It’s a great mystery.

What happens between the first word and the last?

Don’t feel like you are alone.

It’s also a mystery to those of us who write.

What comes first?

The hook?

The plot?

The character?

The end?

Who really knows?

Who really cares?

All any of us want to do is tell a story.

From talking with others, I’ve found that most novels come together in different ways.

We jump in one day and start writing.

Several thousand words later, we write The End.

It might be months.

It might be years.

The mystery is what goes on in between.

Caleb Pirtle III

I have long been a reader of Ray Bradbury’s works.

I think he is one of the greatest writers of our time.

And, writing in Bradbury Speaks, here’s what Ray said about the genesis of his novels.

“Little did I know, as the old saying goes, that when publishing my Dandelion Wine story in Gourmet in 1953, I was starting a novel.

“The history of my books is most strange. My stories, essays, and poems suddenly grow full and tall.

The Martian Chronicles, for example, born in 1944 as a collection of stories, along the way civilized an entire planet.

“Similarly, Green Shadows, White Whale. My life in Ireland, written as poems and plays, finally became a novel about John Huston and Moby Dick.

Dandelion Wine, then, was a series of word associations about my hometown, remembering how it was to run in a new pair of tennis shoes or to perch on the family porch on those wonderful summer nights when we filled the sky with rockets and fire balloons.


So often, stories begin on their own.

Novels come later.

And sometimes they don’t come at all.

Behind each book we write is a mystery.


And why?

Even if we know, unlike Ray Bradbury, we seldom tell.

Please click HERE to find my historical mystery, Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon, on Amazon.

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