Wednesday, 2 December 2009
The relief of not being a crime writer.
Having spent the last few months trying to fit myself into crime writing mode, returning to my old non-genre-but-character/relationship-based style of writing is such a massive RELIEF! No more research (except that I need to speak to a prostitute), no more I-wonder-how-A-would-address-B or how-long-does-it-take-for-the trachea-to-disntegrate moments. I feel that I've returned home after a rather painful journey. My respect and admiration for the likes of Brian and Len is greatly increased, but I no longer want to be them.
Posted by Frances Garrood at 18:46
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Am in the same boat - definitely not a crime writer now. And feeling a huge amount of relief about it.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Aliya. I do hope you didn't have to abandon something after a huge amount of time and effort? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you and I have a better year writing-wise in 2010!ReplyDelete
Oh, I only had 30,000 words. Besides, I'm getting used to it now. I knew in my heart it wasn't shipshape.ReplyDelete
Yeah, let's take the world by storm next yr Frances.
ONLY 30,000 words? That's about what I had, and it felt like quite a big deal at the time. But you're right - one does begin to get used to it. Perhaps getting used to this kind of thing is what makes us real writers...ReplyDelete
I would certainly hate to write off 30,000 words. *shudder*ReplyDelete
Thanks for that, Tim. Now I have permission to grieve.ReplyDelete
Nice to hear you soundng so definite about this decision Frances. Good luck with the next, non-crime, book!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Alis. Yes - it really does feel good. But the first chapters are now with Wonderful New Agent and I feel ridiculously nervous about what she will say. This has been the Year of Rejection, and I'm bracing myself...ReplyDelete
I must admit that I'm experiencing the same revelation: I'm not a crime writer. As a writer of psychological suspense, this a tricky distinction to maintain, but I swear every time I start writing about detectives and evidence and casework, I end up writing a school term paper.
It's all very logical, but it's so boring I can't even stand to re-read it and edit.
Now I just to to figure out how to deal with that in my WIP novel that features a detective as one of the main characters. Hrm.
Nevets, have you read RJ Ellory? I think he's very much in the same territory, and he absolutely disavows being a detective writer.ReplyDelete
Ellory sells stacks so there's clearly a market for it.
Frances, have you written a synopsis for your new book, or just the chapters?ReplyDelete
Aliya - synopsis? What's a synopsis? Just the first three chapters, I'm afraid. Haven't heard from WNA yet...By the way, how are you getting on? What are you writing? Or is it a secret?ReplyDelete
Nevets - I feel for you. I concluded that the only way to write a successful detective novel was to have a detective sitting at my side all the time (a) to answer my questions and (b) to tell me when I was going off the rails and onto the things that interest me, like the families, relationships and general goings-on of all the protagonists. And have you ever tried getting hold of a proper paid-up body-dissecting pathologist? If you're planning to try, my advice is, forget it.
Fortunately, I was in forensic anthropology for a while so I have some contacts in pathology, but I would still turn their interesting work into a drudge. lol
Thanks for the tip on RJ Ellory. I'm working on getting my hands on some now!
One of things reading Patricia Cornwell taught me is that it's tough to make all that pathology stuff interesting. What worked as one-off novel soon grew all kinds of ludicrous excresences when stretched into a series.ReplyDelete
Cutting corpses up doth not a novel make.
So true, Tim, and the problem with trying to maintain some sense of reality is that they are, for the most part, so disconnected from the case, the criminals, and the real lives the victims had that there's not even much of an interesting angle to milk there.ReplyDelete
But that's the jaded voice of experience speaking.
I've answered your questions over on my blog, Frances.ReplyDelete
So much crime takes place without a pathologist ever being involved, or a policeman. I feel a bit annoyed that all crime novelists have to constantly deal with all the paperwork, as such.
You are so right about that. I tried to get around that by making the cat for the cat-and-mouse part of my story an "irregular," but I'm finding that any sort of investigation turns into the driest sort of procedural in my hands.
I like the cat, and there's some awesome story in him, but I'm trying to work through how to take the detectiveness out of him.
Sorry, everyone, if I keep blathering on here; I just had this epiphany last night while trying to round out the second chapter of my WIP, and Frances' commentary hit the mark with me.
Nevets - my cat has turned into an adulterous journlist - I like to recycle characters where I can. Perhaps you could do something different with yours?ReplyDelete
Aliya - Thanks for that. I'll visit your blog later (bottle of wine calls)...
I may have found away to retool my cat. I was sitting staring at my book trying to figure out what to do when I finally did the smart thing and got help from my wife...ReplyDelete
I asked her for some suggestions of who chases bad guys. "Police officers, detectives, their ex-wives . . ."
So, for first draft, try two, my married male detective has beeen dramatically transformed...
Thanks, all, for helping me talk through this!
(And, Tim, I just put in an ILL request for some RJ Ellory.)