by Shelt Garner
After what feels like a very long time — but really is about 18 months — I’ve finally come to the make-or-break portion of development: the mystery. I know what happened at the center of this story, but now I have to figure out how someone would try to unravel it.
So I find myself cramming a number of investigative reporting. I’m reading Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s “She Said.” I’m reading Ronan Farrow’s “Catch and Kill.” And I’m listening to the Crooked Media podcast “Wind of Change.” The latter is interesting because it involves music and the CIA. Which, given the conceit of the novel, is very useful. The more I listen to it, the more I feel I’m going to have to give it a shoutout in the Author’s Note.
But the major issue is I’ve come up with a very complex situation that I have to unravel slowly through investigation. I have to think of different ways to do all of this believably. But it’s also all very much outside my comfort zone. Even when I was a reporter, I wasn’t a very good one. So, I have to really learn a lot of things about investigative reporting that I know nothing about.
And, yet, that’s kind of the crux of the story. The part I don’t know anything about.
I have a huge amount of reading to do about character, investigation and leadership — just to name a few things. That is going to slow me down some, but hopefully not too much. I’m still on track to start writing again no later than June 1st.