Tag Archives: mystery

Writing the novel: Overcoming plot problems & cranking up the pace


I’ve been stymied. I hate that. I’ve been working on the new novel in the Hit Man Series, Hollywood Jesus. Several chapters went well, but there was something missing and I just figured out why it wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I was holding back. I wasn’t being reckless enough.


What makes Bigger Than Jesus such a great read is that it has the pace of a long chase scene with lots of twists and cliffhangers and no chance for anyone to catch their breath. I wrote Bigger Than in a certain way that was braver and less calculated than what I have been doing. As I wrote Bigger Than, each night I finished a chapter I often had no real idea how I’d get Jesus Diaz out of the corner I’d written him into. The next morning the answer came. (Sometimes it didn’t and I had to think longer, but when you ask the right question, the answer always appears.)


The first stab at Hollywood Jesus wasn’t all bad. The chase scene with the cops and the scary way Jesus gets out of it? I’m keeping that. The meeting in the office? I’ll lose that. It’s too static and talky. I’m also keeping the big ending I’d planned, but the plots and plans and surprises go deeper and I’ll introduce new motivations. 

The first two books started out with a murder. This time? It’s different, but no less scary and creepy. The key to making the character work for the reader is that he was terribly abused as a child and my funny hit man identifies with innocent victims. Jesus has a code and he always tries to make sure no civilians are hurt on his missions. Now that I see how this plot is going to unfold, it’s a much bigger, more sweeping story that has roots all the way back to the heart of book one of the series.

Jesus Diaz was in deep trouble with my first attempt at this book. I understand now how I can shove him down so deep, Hollywood Jesus will have a deeper emotional impact as well as more action with a pace that matches Bigger Than Jesus. Maybe even faster.


Bigger Than Jesus

New York; Opens with fast, perilous action; it’s a quest for money, love and escape with the alluring Lily Vasquez. 

Theme: A man stands up to the Machine. He is not a cog.

Higher Than Jesus

Chicago; Opens with increasing tension, battling drug addiction while fighting  two opposing forces over an arms deal and trying to save the body and soul of the sexy glamazon, Willow Clemont.

Theme: To become who you are meant to be, you have to conquer your failings.

Hollywood Jesus

L.A.; Opens with a rescue; opens old wounds in a war with multiple, powerful enemies, a slavery ring that hits Jesus very close to his heart and two beautiful women. Expect betrayal. Even so, you’ll be surprised from whence it strikes.

Theme: Sacrifice for the greater good…sucks.

I got my groove back, Stella! (That’s a dated book and movie reference, but it made somebody reading this smile briefly.)

~ Get all the books by Robert Chazz Chute here.


Protect your home from thieves, ninjas and quirky assassins

I’m working on the next book in the Hit Man Series, Hollywood Jesus. Here’s a little excerpt from the first chapter. Read between the lines, and you’ll find some tips on protecting your home from burglars…or quirky assassins with mommy issues.

On TV, the hero slips a credit card into the edge of a door to pick a lock. That destroys the credit card — who needs that hassle unless it isn’t your credit card? —  and isn’t nearly as easy as it looks except with cheap motel doors. The next option is to pull out a lock pick set and get to work, hoping a nosy neighbor doesn’t spot you while you struggle to overcome the lock. It’s not just picky work. It’s nit-picky and plenty of locks are different so you have to take the time to learn the lock. More hassle. If Dexter episodes went down in real time, it would be a much longer and more boring show.

You’ve used the hockey stick and bicycle chain trick to rip off doorknobs, but since you’d look suspicious walking around with that sort of bulge in your sports jacket, you’ve left that tool at home. That’s your only complaint about West Coast weather: The sun always shines in Hollywood, so no stylish trench coat for you.

If you were a brainless thug, the quickest way into Fitzwald’s house is simply to kick in the door, making sure your heel connects full force by the lock. That’s almost always effective. Even paranoid homeowners may spend $1,000 on a security door, but they spend the least they can on the installer so the frame is $25 worth of wood and the screws that hold it in place are usually way too short. One or two kicks gets you in quicker than fumbling with a key. That makes plenty of noise, though, and that choice could end badly with you tying up the nosy old man from next-door with electrical cord. One heart attack that’s another murder charge against you. Who needs it?

The key to a happy life is less stress, so you do the brainy thug thing: You look. The key isn’t under the mat or on top of the doorframe. It’s under the second flower pot you check. The homeowner would have had half a chance of keeping you out if he’d thought to at least stick the spare key in the pot’s dirt. That would have stymied you easily, but since no one wants dirty fingernails, you’re standing in Fitzwald’s house, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. 

As you step into the living room, a motion detector shines red and a shrill alarm goes off, jangling your nerves. However, alarms are even easier to deal with than people who leave their house keys in predictable places…

~ Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense writer who podcasts weekly, but never weakly (see below for the latest podcast.) To begin The Hit Man Series, Bigger Than Jesus is for sale at the low introductory price of just .99 cents because the first taste is cheap. Once you’re hooked as a thriller fan, the second in the series is Higher Than Jesus. Enjoy. 

Podcast: The Christmas Apocalypse Edition

In this pod, I cry: Murders Among Dead Trees (free ebook!), My Life as a Spy, Newtown, Bad Media and sex & violence in a reading called Another Narrow Escape.

Grab the ebook, Murders Among Dead Trees, before Friday Dec 21st at midnight and it’s free. If you love suspense and paranormal stories, please review the book. (See the link below to learn more about the book.)

Need graphics for your website, advertising, Quote Art or book cover? Go to our sponsor, the great Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.

This is Episode #62. Episode #63 of the All That Chazz podcast appears in the new year. Thanks for listening, for your donations and for your kind emails. Especially, thanks for buying my books! Merry Christmas and see you in January, 2013! Happy New Year!

The Bigger Than Jesus Finale

Jesus versus Salvador Dali and the FBI! These are the last two chapters of Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute: The Man You Are Not and The Man You Are. Enjoy! 

Next episode: I interview Scout Trooper, master unicyclist and videographer/marketing genius Brian MacKenzie. Then we start a new reading: Higher Than Jesus. Expect explosions, jokes, sex and violence and funny surprises. Bad guys will burn! Um…I’m talking about my next crime novel, not the Brian MacKenzie interview. It will all be fun.

Check out our sponsor, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com, for excellent web banners, Quote Art, book covers and more!

Mortality, Monkeys & The Garage

Jesus is on the loose and bad guys are going to die. 

This podcast is sponsored by the inimitable Kit Foster. Whether it’s a web banner, Quote Art or an amazing book cover you need, please visit KitFosterDesign.com.

The weirdness happened again (+ The 7 Words or Less Contest Announcement)

Get all the details and enter the 7 Words or Less Contest here at ChazzWrites.com. 

Amazon sent me a promotional email about my book, Bigger Than Jesus. If everybody else who loves suspense and thrillers gets this and buys one…well, yay!

Meanwhile, did you know you could get your name in my next thriller, Hollywood Jesus? It could happen if you have a funny slogan. Have fun with it.

Get all the details and enter here at ChazzWrites.com. 

Take it!

For more writing & publishing advice, buying Write your Book, Aspire to Inspire would also make your day and mine.

Yet another free ebook is given and the Romanian mob is at the gates. Find out what happens next as we come close to the end of the reading of the crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute.

The next instalment in the hardboiled Hit Man Series is Higher Than Jesus. Read all the sex and violence by clicking on the book’s cover to the right.

About the free ebook: You can get Crack the Indie Author Code for free from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, 2012. If you dream of writing and publishing, this is the book to get you started. Pick up the follow-up, Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire (by clicking the cover as it appears to the right again! Oh, my Thor! Is there no end to this madness?!) 

This podcast is sponsored by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. For a new web banner, excellent Quote Art or book covers for traditional as well as indie authors, check out his portfolio at KitFosterDesign.com. You won’t regret it.

Just like the books, if you like the podcast, please review it on iTunes so more people can find me. You can find me @rchazzchute on Twitter. Thanks for listening to the show. Subscribe to the All That Chazz newsletter (also to the right! My stars and garters! Is there no end to his requests?!


Higher Than Jesus: Grab the no cost download now

Higher Than Jesus, my hardboiled crime novel packed with sex and violence, is free on Amazon this week (Nov. 19 to the 23rd.) You don’t have to have a kindle to read it. With a free kindle reading app, you can access it on any device.  Click the cover to grab it now and please, if you love it, review it and spread the word. Thanks. (There are more free ebook offers inside.)

Click to get Higher Than Jesus free from Nov. 19 to Nov. 23, 2012!

1 cool video, 1 true story, 2 books of non-fiction & 5 books of fun lies

Video by Kit Foster of Kit Foster Design.com

Click to get Higher Than Jesus free from Nov. 19 to Nov. 23, 2012!

True Story: I ran into a guy in the grocery store today I used to serve in my old job, the one before I started whisking people away to strange worlds. The last time I saw him, as he walked out the door, he said, “By the way, I won’t be buying your books.”


“But Self-help for Stoners is humor and suspense!” I protested. Now I’ve written a lot more books and they’re still not for the humor-impaired or the prissy!

(Sorry, E, but you hurt my feelings…well…you hurt my feeling.)

Please click here for all my books and enjoy!

Higher Than Jesus  ~ My clever hit man fails miserably at group therapy, gets laid and tries to escape his addictions with his soul intact.

Bigger Than Jesus ~ My funny, luckless hit man tries to escape the mob he betrayed with stolen mob money and the love of his life. 

Sex, Death & Mind Control ~ Powerfully persuasive people are out to get you. Read this one with the lights on.

The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories ~ Poeticule Bay, Maine: A town so small, it feels like you’re trapped in a coffin. 

Self-help for Stoners ~ Self-help made out of suspense to make you laugh out loud.

Crack the Indie Author Code ~ Get inspired and stay on track to write your book.

Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire ~ More publishing strategies to write that book you’re dreaming about.

Bigger Than Jesus hits #1 in Hardboiled!

UPDATE! Bigger Than Jesus is now #1 hardboiled and #13 in Action & Adventure! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Thor!

Thanks to this giveaway, my book about Cuban hit man, Jesus Diaz, on the run from the mob and the FBI just hit #1 on the free Hardboiled list! Click it to grab it, and thanks for helping me fly!

#1! #1! #1!