Looking for the Writer’s Blockbuster

I’ve got writer’s block. The dreaded disease of all writers, no matter what the genre. And I think I know why.

Usually, I write a story, and then I pick a title to fit it. This time I’m trying to write a story to fit a title.

Let me explain.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that it really annoys me when people find out that I do autopsies and shrink away from me in fear? disgust? distaste? as if I’m contagious or something, or maybe they think I’m going to do an autopsy on them next. I try to reassure them by saying that they’d have to be dead first, and strangely enough, that seems to only make it worse.

A friend once introduced me to her daughters and told them I did autopsies, and one of the daughters said, “Eww, on dead people?”

Well, duh. So I replied, “Yes, because those live ones complain too much.” Whereupon my BFF, Rhonda said, “It would be ‘death by autopsy’.” And we all laughed hysterically.

My friend’s girls are grown now, and none of them have ever forgotten that. Rhonda told me that I had to write a book called “Death by Autopsy.”

So that’s what I’m doing. Death by Autopsy will be the fourth in the Toni Day series, that is, if it ever gets written.

The difficulty is this: under what circumstances could a body end up on the autopsy table and not be dead? I mean, usually it’s not hard to tell if a person is dead or not. What could happen to a person that would make them appear dead by the usual criteria and yet not be?

You see the problem.

Well, I overcame that problem after doing quite a bit of research. So now there’s a not-quite-dead body on Toni’s autopsy table. Now what? Is Toni really going to cut open this body and end up in prison for murder? That would be the end of the series. I can’t do that. Something has to stop her before it’s too late.

After more research, I figured that out too. Now I have to answer the question of how the person ended up that way in the first place, and why. So after even more research, I developed a plot that goes back in time and leads up to this moment.

So now I have a beginning and an end, but how does Toni get from Point A to Point B?

I have never done so much research for a book as I have for this one, and I’ve never had so much trouble writing it as I have for this one. What does that mean? Should I bag it and write something else? No, I can’t do that. I’ve already told too many folks I’m writing it. I’ve got a Death by Autopsy Facebook page. No, that’s not an option; I must push on. But I keep finding other things that I simply must do before I can sit down and write my book.

Like posting this blog, for instance. But really, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I don’t know where the time goes. But honestly, I’m going to sit down right after I post this and get cracking.

Right after I get the mail. And pay some bills. And feed Henrietta.


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