Work In Progress: 4.4

Starting with Secrets

Here we are at 80,000 words of the next Larkspur Mystery, and I have characters all over the place. I have some in London chasing one clue, others on their way to Shropshire chasing another, and a third team about to set off to Kent. ‘Starting with Secrets’ is a treasure hunt at the end of which lies ‘A great treasure and a great secret’ according to the two women who set Archer, Lord Clearwater, the quest. From one clue grew four, hence we have three teams. The fourth clue has not yet been addressed.

I am nearing the beginning of the staggered climax of the story. I say staggered because there are three storylines to resolve, and the first has reached a dead end, leaving two more set pieces to write before the final climax and the resolve. Except, in this case, the resolution will have to wait for the book that comes next, ‘The Larkspur Legacy.’ You see, ‘Starting with Secrets’ is the first half of a longer story, and thus, its ending is the halfway point of the overall tale.

It will all make sense when you read both books, but when that will be is anyone’s guess. ‘Secrets’ is coming on well and is turning out to be one of those first drafts that writes itself. In the second and subsequent drafts, I will address and expand the emotional side of the story, because, at the moment, we are action-driven. I don’t mind that, but I don’t want it to be one of those Clive Cussler-style books where we leap from one action scene to the next with very little human relationship thread and emotional throughline that will engage the reader.

If you like solving clues, you’ll love ‘Secrets’ and, as usual, they are all based on facts. Obscure facts at times, but still…

And so, to chapter 23 in which I return to clue two and a journey from Hertfordshire to Shropshire to hunt down a clue that reads like this:

By now, I think, you should have found,
Numbers lead beneath the ground.

Starting With Secrets

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