For our prompt of “Books” today, I made a sketch of my pup Elliott sitting next to a stack of books. November is National Novel Writing Month, and this year I decided to join in on the fun! I’ve been wanting to writing a cozy mystery book series for years now, so I figured it was finally time to take the plunge. I built an entire story world, locations, characters and wrote an outline for the first book in preparation for the month, but I couldn’t wait until November to get started. In the end, I actually had over 50,000 words written by the first day of this month, completing the challenge, and a full draft completed by the second day. So, I’m using the daily word counts to edit that first draft while I work through the story outline for the second book in the series. I adore writing fiction most of all, because it comes much easier to me than writing nonfiction. My brain is always happiest when I’m just sketching stuff in my head and making up ideas from pure imagination. Though the characters in my book are a mixture of people I’ve known, the dog named Jasper is based almost entirely on Elliott.

I didn’t quite expect the writing process on my book to go so quickly and smoothly. But, I’d spent several weeks dreaming up my town and filling it with characters, so when it was time to write, everything seemed so real in my mind. I’m most likely going to self-publish this one, but it will be early next year before I launch things. I’d like to have the draft of the second book completed first so I know I can follow up with the next book a few months after the first. Writing fiction is definitely a wonderful form of sketching stuff, just filling in bits and pieces as they pop into my brain and making things up as I go along. Much like my illustrations, I’m never certain what’s going to appear. And, since I can’t possibly memorize an entire novel, each time I read through it to edit things, there are always bits of it that totally surprise me. It’s amazing what’s lurking inside our imaginations just waiting for us to set it free! And, it’s absolutely the most fun I’ve had working on a creative project in quite some time.

I’m not sure if Elliott fully understands that he’s the inspiration for a main character in my book, but sometimes I think he just might. When I told him, he seemed to walk a little taller like he was feeling proud. But truly, anything that brings him a little bit of extra attention is usually something that makes him quite happy. He’s been playing ball a bit more since the weather has been unseasonably warm these past few days. I’m not personally thrilled about the warmth, since I was totally ready for the cold and cozy weather that I adore this time of year. But, by the end of the week, it looks like things are moving back to normal temps. Philippe and I are visiting the little town outside the city this weekend that’s the inspiration for the town in my book. It’s going to be a blast and I’m excited to get away for a couple of days. Then, when we return, I’ll be ready to get cozy again and back to spinning stories in my head while writing mystery books!

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About the Doodlewash

Sketching Stuff Coloring Set – Da Vinci Watercolors: Charlie O’Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus (VIvid Pink), Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), And Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with Black ink, Princeton Aqua Elite Travel Brushes, in an A5 Hahnemühle 100% Cotton Watercolour Book.
Puppy Dog With Purple Bandana And Stack Of Colorful Books Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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27 thoughts on “Writing Mystery Books

    1. Thanks so much, Teresa! 😃💕Haha! Well, not all of it on Day 1, of course! lol That WOULD be impressive! I just couldn’t wait to get writing, so by the time the 1st rolled around, I was already up to the word count. But I’d spent weeks prepping and working on the storyline, so I had a really good outline to follow. 😉

  1. I love your art so much Charlie! Elliott looks like he has really grown!

    I am so so excited for your book. Will you be doing a Kickstarter? You should – I will back you for sure. I think publishing yourself is a great idea – remember that Amazon can be a real problem if you want to sell on that platform. They have all sorts of criteria and you might want to check that out before more edits. Sometimes there are particular things that they want, usually nothing dramatic for a fiction book though. I am so impressed too – but not really surprised. I think you could excel and succeed at anything you wanted to do. 😉 <3 Hugs and much love, Zoie

    1. Charlie is a winner all right! Now he has me going since I have been on sabbatical for months.

      Do you mean a book trailer (kickstarter)?

      You are right about Amazon as my publishing service boss warns us. Cuts their authors off and won’t pay royalties etc etc etc. There are a lot of those around.

      1. Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Yay that you’re inspired to get going! hehe Yeah, I’ve figured out all of the ins and out of self-publishing except the marketing bit. lol I’m going to have to step things up if I want these to succeed, so it might be a bit of a delay while I figure out how to market things more. But, the first book’s draft is complete so that feels great!

        1. Oh good. Angela, my publishing svc boss at BookLocker and, has a book on that if you sign up for her newsletters. Believe me, there is stuff there that others don’t have. In fact that is where I got the idea that I have to do a blog or an e-newsletter. Yayyyyy Charlie go for it.

    2. Thanks so much, Zoie! 😃💕 I think I’m just going to self publish it like I did my previous books. I want to try to make more of a plan, though, this time around for promotion, which I’m terrible at! lol And with my previous books, I’m well-versed with Amazon so the publishing part is the easiest part. I just have to figure out how to let the world know I’m a fiction writer now! 😉 But, the amateur sleuth in my stories is a sketcher so it all really fits under my Sketching Stuff brand, I think. Hugs to you and much love! ❤️

      Sparkling Heart
      • zoie
  2. I can’t wait to read your new book! My brother is friends with Hugh Howey, whose self-published book series ‘Wool’ has made millions, been picked up and printed by a big publisher, turned into a comic, and made into a TV series by Apple. Big things can happen going that route!

    1. Hello Charlie,

      That’s a lovely Doodlewash and at first glance, even before I’d read the whole post, I felt like Elliott was posing next to the stack of books you’ve written…. only to read that you’re working on a series! That felt awesome🙂 Like it’s meant to happen. I’m so happy that your story flowed out of your mind and fingers so smoothly. I hope all your stories pour themselves out just as easily. Diwali is right round the corner here so wishing you tons of dazzling happy moments and everlasting prosperity. Happy Diwali my friend!💥❤


      1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I hope so as well! The first book flowed right out easily, but I’m still working through the mystery of the second one. Once I get that squared away, I hope it will go as smoothly. It’s a blast creating the world and going there in my imagination. So much fun! And a very Happy Diwali to you, my friend! Much love!! ❤️

    2. Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Actually, as I’m reading what I’ve written I’m thinking the same thing! lol It’s a lot like sketching, actually, I don’t know where it all comes from sometimes, but it’s always a fun surprise to find out!

  3. Charlie, mi amigo, you’re awesome! I’m more than positive that your book is a masterpiece! Elliott looks so cute posing with his books. All that’s missing is the smoking jacket, cravat, and pipe. Maybe a monocle. 😂😂😂😂
    Stay sweet! Enjoy your weekend trip! Much love to you. 💜💜💜

    1. Hola, mi amiga! 😃💕 You’re too sweet! I’m not sure it’s a masterpiece, but it’s actually pretty darn good so I’m happy with how it turned out. Oh, Elliott would look awesome like that. He’s going to appear on the covers in some form i think, but haven’t quite gotten there yet. hehe I hope you have a wonderful week. Much love to you! ❤️

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I’m super excited about this book series. It’s been so much fun and I’m proud of how the first book is shaping up. Hoping to have that one launched at the beginning of next year.

      Clapping Hands
      • mz7owengmail-com
  4. You are having so much fun I can tell. The story and characters take on their own life and you just have to hurry to get it down on paper or our favorite case, in documents, so we can share and talk our ways through it. Can’t wait to read it!

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