Despite the Protagonist Being a Detective

For about a month now--maybe longer--I've been writing a new novel. This one has the working title The Last Guest and is an exploration of long-term coupling in the form of a detective story. Yeah, that's right. So far I'm about 7,000 words into the book. According to the one-page outline I whacked out a few weeks ago, I'm still in Chapter One. Huh. Actually, I've been considering the idea of not having any chapter breaks at all, just moving on from scene to scene for the length of the narrative. Readers might hate that, but it worked for Beckett, right?

I also note that so far, 7,000+ words into the novel, there is no "story question" yet. There's no "will X do Y and stop Z?" or whatever. I think the narrative bubbles along nicely anyway, and though I will eventually have to produce a dead body (it is a murder mystery after all), I don't necessarily feel a lot of pressure to do that right away. Again, readers might hate that, but I'm not writing this for the mystery-reading crowd. This is a book in the form of a detective story, but it's not really a detective story. Despite the protagonist being a detective and all.

There is the urge to make a lot of Jasper Ffordian puns, like having the pistol in the first act be manufactured by the Chekhov Arms Company and to have the same pistol studiously not fired by the third act and such other larky things, but I am manfully resisting. For now, anyway.

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