All righty! Time now for part five of Tom Schreck’s ongoing series on writing and being a working author. In addition to being the author of five books, he is has written for a wide variety of publications including The Business Review,, American Health and Fitness, Professional Counselor and Catfancy:

You’ve started you mystery. Now, if you want to be a cool writer-person you call it your “Work-In-Progress.”

It sounds great at cocktail parties.

But aside from the cute banter you’re able to impress your friends with, truth be told, you’re riddled with angst.

Well, with 300+ pages in front of you there’s reason to be intimidated. Yet, most of the fear should be about work, which you have control over. Many of the other things you’re sweating are nothing to worry about.

Here are my top five thin gs you don’t have to worry over:

The plot won’t completely come together

When was the last time everything in your life made sense? Like, never, right? Mysteries have to be figured out but not every single thread has to be tied up tightly. When you read aren’t dark alleys fun? Isn’t it kind of interesting when something is left over? Doesn’t it add some realism to things?

Your book is a story not some IKEA furniture you’re putting together. Sometimes some parts won’t fit.

Don’t sweat it.

You’re not sure how to resolve something

This is a good sign. It means the reader won’t know how you’re going to resolve something either. The magic comes as you keep on task and continue writing.

Trust it.

Do NOT take time away to “process” or wait for the “Muse” whatever the hell that is. Keep working and it will come.


You’ve gone to a new area and what you’ve already written doesn’t make sense any more

Relax, this is another good sign.

Keep writing and fix it when you edit. That’s how this works.

If you want you can go back and fix things before continuing you can but that kills my momentum. I say keep going and take care of it when you edit.

Often the fix is much simpler than you thought it would be.

You think you stole something

You’re worried that your plot turns too much like that Grisham book you read in the 80’s or you think you saw your plot on Law and Order last night.

You know what? Both of these fears are probably founded.

The good news is it doesn’t matter. Unless you are lifting stuff right from someone else’s pages, it will come out as yours.

Don’t steal but be inspired and put your own take on things. It will read like an original.

You think something in your plot was too easily contrived

A panicked editor once called me and said we had a major problem. Duffy “knew” something before he could have in an important part of the plot. The editor had no idea how to fix it and feared major rewrites. He didn’t know what we’d do.

I gave Duffy a cell phone and he got a call that informed him.

Two sentences– end of problem.

Cheap? Maybe, but no one ever noticed or commented. It was more my problem than anyone else’s.

Easy doesn’t have to mean readers won’t like it.

There, I just blasted away some of your insecurities.

Now you know what you need to do?

Yeah, you do.


Tom Schreck is the author of The Vegas Knockout, a recent number one hard boiled mystery on Amazon. His most recent release, Getting Dunn reached number seven. Visit