Mystery 1C

1C. Introduce the sleuth who will solve the crime early, and have him or her do or say something clever or unexpected to establish them as unique. Create this sleuth character with care, and with an engaging personality to sustain the reader’s interest to the last page (or throughout an entire series of books). It is not necessary to disclose all aspects of the sleuth’s personality at the onset. Allow the description to unfold gradually while sustaining reader interest. Reveal enough background so the reader understands the world in which the sleuth functions (Small town sheriff, Scotland Yard detective, Pinkerton agent in the old West, country squire, investigative reporter in New York City, etc . . .).

The sleuth is an insurance fraud investigator working for Northeast Insurance. The insurance company will pay off the value of the building once it is clear there is no fraud being committed. The destruction of the building is very unfortunate, but it is common enough, because of the limited fire protection buildings of this age have. The process seems like it will be straightforward, but there are some items that seem to be questionable, and the sleuth will look for surprises.

Entering emotional state of the point-of-view character
Character objective: What do they want?
Conflict: What impedes them from what they want?
Motive for antagonism: Some understanding of the other characters’ motivations
Character’s worldview: What belief system is he/she operating in?
Tactic: What actions the character takes in the scene to achieve their objective (remember, dialogue is action)
Turn: Does the character get what they want in the scene? What comes out of the conflict? What causes their emotions to change?
Objective achieved: Yes or no?
Exiting emotional state: If not the opposite of the entering emotional state, it must at least be different

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