January 31, 2013
Writing a murder mystery means getting in the minds of both murderers and detectives.
With the murderer, it is understanding what motivates them. A good way to do this is to build up a profile for each character containing as much information about them as possible such as what they look like, where and when they were born, what they like to read, how they like to be entertained and what they like to wear. The writer should amass as much information as possible and can keep it as a separate file but it should be used sparingly in the novel. The reader should be able to work out most of it for themselves.
In the case of the detective, the author should investigate the murder as if it was a real crime. A good way to do this is to draw a map showing the position of the body and each suspect at the time the killing took place. If it is a police procedural thriller then the story should be as scientifically accurate as possible. Here internet search engines can be helpful to gain access to forensic science websites. Different police forces follow different procedures which change over time. It is not necessary that they are exactly right but they must be believable. The same is true for historical fiction where modern methods such as DNA analysis have yet to be invented.
Once these basics are followed then the various twists and turns can be wound in and around the investigative procedures to provide a narrative that entertains both reader and writer.
January 29, 2013
Know your Bingleys from your Bennets? Take the Pride & Prejudice quiz to find out… via @guardian http://gu.com/p/3db5t/tw
January 28, 2013
Writing murder mysteries must be made enjoyable. It is important that the author entertains himself or herself as much as the reader. Plot twist and turns are essential to keep readers and authors on their toes.
The master at this was Agatha Christie who did not know herself who the murderer was until almost the end. Then she chose the most unlikely of her characters as the culprit then went back over the manuscript altering it so that the plot fitted the ending. I must admit to using this style. However, the danger is that the result can look too contrived and so the sense of realism which all narratives in this genre should maintain can suffer.
In attempt to make the story more realistic and bring about a sense of atmosphere the Peatmore Press novel, Victim of Compromise, was set in a southern English town during a drought.
To illustrate this I include some scenes from the book video trailer below
Some say that describing the weather in a detective story should be avoided at all costs but I feel that it is up to the author and the reader to decide if he or she feels it works.
January 25, 2013
Here are just four of the amazing wonders of the ancient world I have visited in the last four years.
The Library at Ephesus, Turkey
The library was built in 117 A.D as a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus. It could hold more than 12,000 scrolls and was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum. The statues in the niches of the columns are the copies of the originals and symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete).
The Sphinx and two of the Pyramids at Giza, Egypt
The Pyramids were constructed to hide the tombs of the Pharaohs, the ancient rulers of Egypt. The first pyramids were step pyramids to help the pharaoh climb the steps skyward and join the sun god Ra. Then at about the same time as the Sphinx was carved came the biggest pyramids of all, the pyramids of Pharaohs Khufu and Khafre. Until about a hundred years ago these pyramids were the tallest structures in the world! No earthquake could destroy them. They were each built of more than 2 million blocks of stone and each weighed about as much as a small elephant.
The Sphinx was carved over 4,500 years ago for the Pharaoh Khafre. It was carved out of one huge stone and was covered by sand for thousands of years which helped its preservation. Its body is extremely soft rock and its head is very strong rock but is pockmarked because some people used it for gunshot practice.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire UK
Stonehenge is probably one of the most recognisable monuments in the world. The stones were erected some 4000 years ago. The inner ring of Bluestones came from Preseli Mountains in Wales and many theories have been put forward as to how they were moved. It has been suggested Stonehenge was used as a giant astronomical observatory but the reason behind its construction of Stonehenge remains a mystery.
The Ggantija Neolithic Temple at Gozo
This well-preserved stone-age temple erected about 3500BC on the island of Gozo off Malta, predating Egypt’s first pyramids by about 800 years and Stonehenge by about 1200 years. Like stone circles in the British Isles it may be concerned with the passage of the seasons as indicated by the position of the Sun. This temple is named Ggantija because of the huge blocks of limestone (some as high as twenty feet) used to form the walls of the temple.
January 21, 2013
A classic tale of what can happen when a scientific experiment produces an irreversible result. Wells was a Master of Science Fiction. He describes the science of visibility in great detail so that his protagonist’s experiment becomes believable. The attempts of the protagonist to regain normality are cautionary and shocking. This is a tale that has been imitated many times on film and TV but the original outshines all these and remains well worth reading.
The Invisible Man by H. G. Well is out of copyright
and can be downloaded free of charge in a variety of ebook formats from Project Gutenberg.
January 7, 2013
Readers will enjoy the author’s sparkling wit and anyone buying this book will be in for a real treat. He has a real insight about what makes his characters tick.
Christmas Lights and other stories by Douglas O’shea is available for Amazon Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Lights-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00APOQLYU/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top