What a writer should never throw away-no matter what

The following is a story that takes place in the 19th century and you are to guess what it has to do with a murder mystery I am writing set in 1927. I was doing some research for my novel and ran across the story in a file cabinet at a museum.

The story goes that an Indian woman and a white man hired a wagon and driver at a livery stable. They had the driver take them to a specific location that is outside of town. The driver noted that they carried two bags of tools. The white man told the driver to return at four in the afternoon to pick them up. This the driver did. He noticed when he returned the two bags of tools were gone, but the Indian girl and white man each had a heavy suitcase with them. It was thought the Indian girl knew about some treasure that was somewhere nearby where they were dropped off and she got the white man to help her. Neither were known in the town and neither were seen again. So what does this have to do with a murder mystery set in 1927?

Nothing. At least on the surface.

But a writer should not dismiss anything, no matter how remote it is to your story. I kept the story in my notes, then in writing a chapter I realized how I could use  it. My murder mystery began, interestingly enough, where the Indian girl and white man were dropped off. It was Ford’s Prairie. In my mystery a woman’s head was found on top of a grave leaning on the tombstone at the Ford’s Prairie cemetery.

So I had a local from the community relate this old tale from the 1800’s to my amateur detective. The reason is that it could be a red herring, to make the reader think the two stories might be related. Then again there just might be a connection. Doesn’t matter. The point is never ignore what you find while researching. It may seem unrelated to what you are working on, but you might be able to use it. As a researcher you are mining for nuggets and what you think is fool’s gold could be more useful than you think.

This e-novel has already been researched and is found on that Amazon place, not the jungle; that is another story.

coyotemoon_silentmurder

 

 

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2 Comments

Filed under dalies, e-books, fiction, fiction writing, indie writers, writers, writing

2 responses to “What a writer should never throw away-no matter what

  1. For me it’s often the case that an obscure nugget I never would have found otherwise provides the key to the entire story, either its plot or its setting.

    When I was writing the third story for my upcoming book, Shadow of the Fox, I had it set on Sado Island in Edo Period Japan, and I wanted it to somehow involve corruption in the gold mines. My history consultant advised me to set it in Izu Province instead, the source of another major gold mine, because Sado Island was so over done in Japanese fiction. So I start researching Izu Province, and I find that the entire province was ruled by a gold minister who turned out to be totally corrupt. Bam, I had my villain and setting, and it was something I’d NEVER even heard of or read about before.

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