Tuesday, September 22, 2020

What's Next?

 By Lynn McPherson

September is one of my favourite months. The weather is glorious, the kids are excited to be back at school, and it's time for me to start a new book. I've had a few ideas for a new story floating around my mind and have pondered which one, if any, I should choose. A few are quite dark. I've stuck with cozy mysteries so far and have enjoyed every minute. Could it be time to try something new? With my mind flip-flopping around, I've decided to outline a few criteria to help me decide. Sometimes choosing a project is the most difficult part. Anyone out there in the same dilemma? Let's do this together and see what we find out.

1. Does it excite you? This may seem obvious but sometimes I get so caught up in the planning of a story that I fail to think about if it's something I really want to write. Considering the hundreds of hours that go into each book, it's important to feel passion for each project. If it's not there, you might run out of steam before it's done.

2. Does it have a hook? To grab a reader's interest, it's important to have a quick and easy way to describe your book. You need to be able to sell your story to an audience in one of two sentences. 

3. Are you a fan? One of the best ways to decide what to write is to think about what you want to read. Chances are, you won't be the only one.

4. Does the story have strong characters? A big project requires a good team. Make sure the characters you choose are interesting enough to hold a reader's attention. Are they smart? Funny? Unique? Choose the qualities you deem important, just make sure they stand out from the crowd.

5. Give it a try! Sometimes writers begin a project to see if it feels right. If you're unsure, give it a week-long trial to see if it's working for you. Read what you wrote and, if you like it, keep going!

There you have it. My ideas of what to consider when writing a new book. If I've left anything out, please let me know in the comments. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Lynn McPherson has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ran a small business, and taught English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. She now channels her lifelong love of adventure and history into her writing, where she is free to go anywhere, anytime. Her cozy series has three books out: The Girls' Weekend Murder and The Girls Whispered Murder, and The Girls Dressed For Murder.  


  1. So many choices are available to a writer. Making the "what's next" decision can be daunting, even paralyzing. As I come to finish the third book in my series, I'm definitely feeling the pressure. Best of luck picking your next adventure!

  2. Thanks so much, Gay. Good luck to you as well—and congrats on finishing your newest book!