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Tom Morse

It may be your style to write like Coben, but since Grafton started her alphabet mystery series, she has used the voice of a private investigator writing a report on an investigation. Using that voice, it would not make sense to leave out parts in the timeline. And that device not only works for her method of story-telling, it is also an indispensable aspect of the main character. Criticizing her narrative device is like criticizing Faulkner because Benjy Compson's narration in The Sound and the Fury was disjointed and difficult to understand. Both authors were/are bound to use the voices of their characters.


Oh that was beautiful to get such a detailed insight into your writing process. Thank you so much!
I'm watching Soccer championship right now. USA vs. Ghana. The US boys are doing great. I heard, the soccer fever slowly creeps into your country...


Thanks for sharing! It's wonderful to get a small glimpse into your writing process - as well as what you are reading. It's also wonderful to hear about your grandchildren, the lovely birds at your feeder, and the internal dialogue that leads to the creation of fresh spaghetti sauce.

Heather Jessen

I enjoyed reading your post.
-Heather Jessen


Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your process. It's quite fascinating to me. I have been reading you since I was nine years old (1978). Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye made a huge impression on me and directly affected some of the choices I made as a young adult. I hope you continue blogging.


Let's be friends.

Betty Birney

Hi, Lois. I have a theory about Grafton's style. She was a film and television writer before writing fiction, as I was. I tend to see everything I'm writing as if I'm watching a movie (turning the door knob, shutting off the computer). However, film employs jump-cuts, which I also try to use in my writing. Sometimes jump-cuts merely cut out unnecessary action - sometimes they are used to grab the viewer's attention. The attention to details such as the doorknob would only be used to build tension.

T. Crockett

That was simply a lot of fun to read. Thank you.

James Preller

Nice post, Lois, I completely agree about the transitions. Sometimes I'll write those details out -- needing somehow to walk myself from room to room -- but later (hopefully) edit them out.

I notice it when watching old television shows, cop shows from the 70s, when you see the car pull up in front of the house, the detectives get out, stroll up the walk, push the doorbell. So sloooow. Nowadays, all those scenes are eliminated and we cut to the door opening -- or maybe we're already in the living room, grilling Miss Cavendish.

What's the bit of advice from Elmore Leonard? Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.

But what do you think of character description? Clothing? How much is too much, or too little?


lois Lowry

to JP: Your question is interesting and so I have answered it, or given MY answer, at least, in a newer post.

Pat Wooldridge

Lois, this post is so relevant! I will especially return to the parts about scenes and detail, and making notes to oneself while writing.I didn't do that, last time. I was too busy writing. That was a big mistake in thinking, since sooner or later everything comes home to roost. Oh, boy.

Re: Tom Morse's post: I have to criticize Faulkner because his material is so hard to unravel. Or, maybe it's me. A friend of mine told me that her college English professor said: "Reading Faulkner is like going 60 mph in a convertible with the top down. Backward." When she said that, I felt much better that at least one person had the same opinion.

Tammy Moghadam

Thank-you for all the insight into your life. I have four children too and my oldest son is turning thirteen on Aug 23 and starting yet another school on his birthday (move number 6 in his short life). Having moved a lot yourself I was wondering if I could send him a few words for him on this new journey...we have read and loved all your books together and are both huge fans.

Lois  Lowry

I can only say to your son that moving frequently was one of most positive experiences of my life. It taught me to adapt, to adjust, and to observe.

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