I've wanted to write a locked room murder mystery style novel for many, many years, but never felt confident to do so. Years of thoughts and ideas have percolated through, though, and I think that maybe, maybe I'm ready. Maybe I finally have a good enough idea.
I'm getting a good sense of my detectives. And starting to build the world, too, a fantasy setting because that's where I'm most comfortable.
Let's meet my team:
Temmy is the main detective. She's taller than average for a woman of her local area, light tan or maybe white skin, black hair, slender build. Wears glasses and has additional lenses to help her see closer and further. Wears a lot of black, sometimes including sunglasses. Appears quiet, calm and steady in public, but needs lots of time in cool, dark, quiet rooms to recover. Thinks deeply and frequently sideways. Listens more than she talks. Comes from a wealthy family, which is largely how the enterprise is funded.
Secondary detective. Good friends with Temmy; they've known each other since school. A little below average height for a woman in the area; a little chubby, hiding strong, athletic muscles. Tan skin, bright red hair (henna over brown). She has changeling blood, enough to give her a few little quirks including the ability to control her eye colour, excellent low light vision, and some sense, some awareness of when magic is being used, or sometimes when it has been. Comes across as chatty and excitable; wears lots of bright colours. People tend to like her and open up to her, maybe admitting more than they meant to (maybe another impact of her changeling blood). Has a big crush on Stick, but comes from a similar background to Temmy so knows her family wouldn't approve.
The receptionist and general office dogsbody. Tall and slender. Darker skin, dark hair, black eyes. Non-binary, but uses he/him pronouns in the first book and in the sequel will have started to move to xe/xey but still get misgendered by people who know xem forgetting. Comes across as quiet in public because xeir shy around new people - confident around friends. Can ask the questions the reader wants answered (hopefully). Does a lot of the fetch and carry work, but capable in xeir own right and hopefully we'll see this progress through the series (if it works out and I get to write a series!)
Maybe a little shorter than Temmy, and broader, more muscular. Tan skin. Has a lot of underground connections - is the one they turn to for anything that might be difficult or less than legal to acquire. Not part of the team in an official sense, but the most significant character outside the actual team. Stick is a nickname; need to figure out where it came from and what his real name is.
Yes, I'm aware there's lots of tropes I'm leaning on or into here. I'm hoping to twist and subvert others as the story develops. I've got a strong idea for one murder, and a vague outline for a second. I need to figure out the details of the twists, red herrings and motives for the first story; I know some characters but not most. The second story, I've got an idea of the victim and one of the suspects and their motive.