When I checked my twitter feed this morning I wasn’t sure whether I was reading the latest snippet of crime fiction or whether this was for real!
Not a scam: If you’ve committed a burglary in the #Leicester area within the last week – come to our #police station & claim a FREE iPad.
How brilliant I thought! Except someone beat me to it with this tweet:
@callis1987 .@CityCentreLPU 7Will the offer still be valid if I travel up to the Leicester area and commit a burglary next week?
The reply from the police was:
Maybe not, but we may have some of our boobie prizes left > Pot Noodle served in our 4 Star #LockMeIn accommodation!#FancyIt
In response I did have in mind a story about a criminal who sets up a fake twitter account and tweets the local police each time he does a burglary; the story would revolve around that plot device. I suppose it is a contemporary take on a criminal taunting the police with letters composed of typography cut from newspapers!
But this was an idle moment’s speculation and therefore I give my idea away free to the first person who claims it. If you manage to make something out of it I would love to publish on the blog! How is that for community policing then?
Still, after the excitement of this morning’s tweeting session it is serious stuff as I am immersed in my new novel The Unwanted. I am just at that stage where I am thinking, ‘Why did I start this?’ It’s a bit like decorating really; you have stripped out the room, all the wallpaper is off and it looks 100% worse than when you started and it’s all uphill from there!
In fact I find there is so much to work on regarding further developments in characterisation and narrative voice. I am a firm believer that narrative voice should remain neutral, unless of course it is directly connected to a specific character. This is more or less the norm in contemporary crime novels and yes, rules are there to be broken but authorial intrusion, in my book is only really successful in types of meta-fiction and that’s not my business!
I do know that breaking neutrality is what can really irritate the reader who feels constrained as if the author / narrator is trying to dictate a reaction or feeling and that can be most off putting. Yes, I do also think readers need an element of autonomy to enable them to make up their own opinions and responses. I guess it is probably the difference between effective and ineffective writing.
So, for me, effective crime writing should, and this is my opinion only, be economical in its use of narratives or extended dialogue to create scene and image. Sometimes my mind runs away with itself of course but today I am editing and resisting the temptation to do other things so I guess I had better finish now.