How To Write a Novel — Dead Body

Day 40 of writing my novel in public

Matt Lewis Allen


Photo by jessica rigollot on Unsplash

I’ve started something scary here on Medium. It’s something I’ve done before, but never in public. I have a process that I’m going to follow, and I’d like to share it with you.

If you want to follow the journey from the start, go here.

If you missed yesterday’s, you can find it here.

Day 40 — Dead Body

I’m starting my writing early today, which is my best time because I’m a lark, the early bird hoping to catch the worm.

In the story, Charlie, Sandy and Woofy have just arrived at The Smell Tower and are being installed in their rooms on floor 97. Miasmus makes time to come and greet them, down from his penthouse level on 101, and Charlie sees he smells like a dead body.

This scene sets up the next couple of sequences. First, there is Charlie trying to bake 10,000 cupcakes for Miasmus for next week, and how Staghorn will help him with that. Then there is the investigation into why Miasmus smells like a dead body.

These are the story threads I need to include.

  • Charlie ‘sees’ the smell of a dead body on Miasmus. He recognises it from one case his dad worked on.
  • Charlie asks Sandy, “Do you smell that?” but she can only smell his aftershave.
  • Miasmus has Boo, but Kay is resting because she ate something that disagreed with her delicate stomach — a cactus.
  • Miasmus needs ten thousand cupcakes making for the next week. Charlie questions Miasmus about why he wants the cupcakes, but he says to wait and see.
  • Sandy wants to see the zoo, but doesn’t have time to ask.
  • Charlie tells Sandy he thinks Miasmus is up to something. She offers to help, but he tells her it is not safe and to stay out of his way.

Against the clock

To keep my fingers moving on the keyboard, and prevent me from getting distracted, I’m writing against the clock. In order to write 750 words, I’m going to work in three fifteen-minute bursts.

Staghorn led them out onto the ninety-seventh level, and a long corridor. Doors led off…



Matt Lewis Allen

Writer and Book Coach — helping you write the book you would love to read —