Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Remember: Plot is no more than footprints...

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

So as I embark or writing a crime series I have subscribed to the Crime Writers Association newsletter. So far I have haven’t had time to read much of it but the its I have read have been informative and helpful. In particular the contents of the article entitled ‘Are Crime Writers psychopaths?’ written by Pauline Rowson rang true.

In another article of the same news letter Pauline Rowson also gives valuable advice about the characterization/character development for the detective of your piece. The detective should not only solve the crime but also learn something about themselves along the way. This is not very Midsomer Murders. I can’t remember Detective Barnaby learning anything about himself whilst arresting the vicar for murder, but it is quite true of most detectives. Take for example DCI Banks which has been on the telly recently. His on screen relationship with his colleague develops though each episode and through different cases we learn of different facets of DCI Bank’s character. He realizes things about himself he never knew before especially when a case pushes him to the limit.  It draws us into his life more. We want to watch the next episode- why? Not just to find out who the killer is but to also find out whether DCI Banks will get together with the colleague (her name escapes me). I think this is one of the key ingredients of a good crime series. 

I have also finished reading The Memory Game by Nicci French. It’s set in the 90’s nut nevertheless it was an interesting read. The characters well crafted each with flaws that you can identify with. I particularly liked the ending which I didn’t see coming and I would definitely recommend this as a read. Strangely it focuses on amnesia after a traumatic event. Perhaps I should have read it before I wrote The Bittersweet Vine. Eerily I felt that parts of the books are similar but altogether different at the same time. It just goes to show the different views and facets of amnesia and just how interesting this topic is. Amnesia makes for a great plot thickener doesn’t it?!

Anyway as my last post said I am half way through editing Poison in the Water. My collaborator on Indian Diaries has also got back to me with her corrections. I’m not sure whether I should start editing those 10,000 words or if I should finish Poison first. Decisions, decisions!

I have just started reading The Book Thief yesterday and it looks promising… lets see how that goes.  

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