Putting THE END on TIMES UP FOR FATHER TIME. The journey I took to finish this cozy mystery story. #cozymystery #writing #writer

Putting The End On My Story abigailleighreed.com

“The End” – Time’s Up for Father Time

What a journey! October 10, 2020, I finally typed the words “The End” for my cozy mystery novel TIME’S UP FOR FATHER TIME. The book began as my first-ever NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before—life got in the way. But my passion for writing never faded. So, after shoving my novel under the proverbial bed, I dragged the dusty half-tome out to finish what I’d started. TIME’S UP FOR FATHER TIME and its protagonist, Lilia Loverly, had rattled around my head for over a decade, and finally pushed me to finish the story and begin the series.

I began at the beginning. Rewrote and improved, but remaining true to the story I’d been telling. I found a critique group and dug deep into my writing craft. When the opportunity to enter the 2019 Writer’s Digest shorty story contest came along, I jumped.

A Big Jolt in Motivation

I wrote a cozy mystery short story that happened to be a prequel to the Lilia Loverly story I was writing. A four thousand word story is a fantastic exercise in learning how to write concise, colorful sentences where every word counts. This story also let me dig deeper into my novel characters, learning more of their backstory. I was flabbergasted and thrilled when THE SOZZLED FLAPPER became a 2019 Writer’s Digest award winner. What a validation of my writing. My motivation intensified.

During this time, I realized I had to find critique partners that encouraged, strengthened, and pushed me to be a better writer and storyteller. That led me to co-create two phenomenal critique groups—Cozy CRIT-ters and Chick Crits. I also gained a writing buddy. We help each other brainstorm and put the screws to each other’s work—tough love, folks, tough love. Thanks, Leslie!

My support system was in place, and I plowed through the end of my story. After I wrote the final sentence, I took a deep breath, and with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy, typed the words “The End.”

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