I have this problem.
Since 2010, I have been gleefully knocking people off in as many ways as I can imagine. Many of them deserved it. Some were no loss to society. Others I didn’t know well enough to care. And this has all made for great fun. My stuff has certainly kept my mother amused, even if it does have my stepmother worried about my mental health.
Suddenly, I’ve lost my mojo.
You see, I fell in love. I wrote this character. She’s a nice lady. Middle aged, a bit lonely, and reaching out to grab a bit of happiness for herself. Just an ordinary woman given new life by an affair she shouldn’t be in. I created her to be the victim in my current Work In Progress. So she has to die. If she doesn’t die, there’s no body. And if there’s no body, there’s no mystery to solve and no book. I guess someone else could die, but if they did she would have no reason for being. And that would be worse, because I really love her.
I love who she is and where she’s been. And I really, really, really wish there was some way to give this poor woman a happy ending.
I can’t think of one single, solitary reason why she should die. Everything in me rebels against it. She’s a nice lady and doesn’t deserve it. I tried to find a way around it. She’s not really dead, just missing. It’s some other body they mistook for her. I worked that one in my head, played it off Mary Ann at the park in as many variations as we could conjure. We failed to find a solution. We came to the conclusion that there is no (reasonable) way to plot this book unless this unfortunate woman bites it.
And I can’t bring myself to do it.
It’s got me stalled. I can’t do it, and I haven’t been able to create the character who’s going to do it for me. Is it the cold wife? The perfect daughter? The slacker son? The housekeeper’s unemployed brother? The milkman, who is really the twin she was separated from at birth?
I listed the players. Invented a few more potential peripheral characters. I’ve been brainstorming motives for all of them, looking for my killer. Nothing resonates. Nothing gets me excited. My reaction to all of it is “Meh.”
I’ve got to get over this. What’s a mystery without a murder?