A Tale of Two Stories is rapidly becoming A Tale of Three Stories.
Recently I have decided to incorporate a third story, the as of yet untitled subway archaeology story, into the still untitled current story. Though I am enjoying writing the detective-fiction story, I found it becoming a Molly and Michael story rather than a Molly and Palmer story. It is the dynamic between Molly and Palmer that grounds my character. Adding the archaeological site helps to keep Palmer in the story, adding the "spice" that many of my earlier stories are lacking.
The challenge in writing this story is in integrating the two styles (detective and pseudo-archaeology) and making them sound as if they belong together, rather than dividing the novel into two separate stories. Though at some point the detective story will end and the sci-fi will continue, at least initially, the two should intertwine into one in order to keep the reader interested in both and not feel cheated that they signed on for detective fiction and wound up with sci-fi/adventure.
To that end, I have begun to read detective fiction in an attempt to study how to write good fiction. I love Castle on television, so I tried a Richard Castle book, but I find it confusing at times, bordering on cliche. I definitely want to avoid cliche of any kind in my book, this time trying something slightly more literary. Though I do not have the expertise of a Kathy Reichs, I would like for my stories to be more along the lines of her novels than Castle's, integrating the forensic evidence that Palmer finds from the skeletal remains with the detective procedural of the investigation, juxtaposing that against the detective-like procedural of the archaeology work.
I have also set up Schliemann as the villain in this piece (and the last), though this time his part is akin to hiring Molly and Palmer to find the fountain of youth and then drinking it all before they have the time to analyze it to see if it really is the fabled fountain. There are other villains as well, such as suspects that realize the only way that Molly and Michael will leave them alone is to take one or more of them out. Schliemann may have also come to the same conclusion.
The longer I think on it, the more the stories seem to come together, I'm happy to report. Though I'm not looking forward to the actual hip replacement, I am looking forward to my convalescent time in which I will have nothing more to do but to exercise, go to physiotherapy and write.