Tag Archive for: writing mystery

It’s Deception – Not Anticipation

Deception-Not Anticipation by Debra H. Goldstein


It’s a word
that rolls around my tongue and brain with ease. Different dictionaries shade
its definition:

act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or

fact or condition of being deceived

csomething that deceives (Merriam-Webster)

The act of hiding the truthespecially to get an advantageCambridge Dictionary

misrepresentation, deceit. bill of goods – communication (written or spoken)
that persuades someone to accept something untrue or undesirable – The Free

As a mystery
writer, my writings incorporate deception to engage and challenge readers. If
in my everyday life, I tell a little white lie, I am using deception to make my
point or shield someone from the truth.

Lately, I’ve
found deception in my writing and my life are combining against me. I say I’m
writing my fifth Sarah Blair mystery and technically I am. I write 3000 words
and then delete them; I write another 3000 words and then I move them to
another place in the book or into my discard bin. What I’ve finally realized,
after two weeks of this is that I’m not challenged by covid brain or anything
except – deception. I’ve been deceiving myself into thinking the book is
working, the prose is smooth, and that the public will like it. They won’t.
Why? Because I don’t like it. The book isn’t moving fast enough, and after much
thought, I’ve realized why. I’m laying out too much backstory rather than tweaking
moments of deception into my tale.

It sounds like
a simple fix. But that would be deceiving myself. I’ve got to rethink and
rewrite from scratch. That’s the truth. That’s the fact. Oh, how I wish it were
merely a moment of deception. I anticipate otherwise.