This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, cop dialogue, overdoses, and justifiable homicide. I'm Adam Richardson. And this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
This is episode number 33 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. I want to thank Gold Shield patron Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com and Coffee Club patrons, Joan Raymond, Guy Alton, Natasha Bajema, Natalie Barrelli, Joe Trent, Siobhan Pope, Leah Cutter, Ryan Kinmill, Richard Phillips, Robin Lyons, Gene Desrochers, Craig Kingsman, Kate Wagner, Marco Carocari, Victoria Kazarian and Rebecca Jackson. Your support keeps the lights on in the bureau. Please support them by visiting their author websites and reading their books. You can find links to their websites in the show notes at writersdetective.com/33 and if you have your own author business, consider joining Patreon. It's free for you and it allows your readers to support you financially through monthly micropayments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating your own Patreon account right now. To learn more, visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
This week's first question comes from Laurie Sibley and she writes, my main character is a homicide detective. I found myself at a loss for some of the filler stuff he would be doing between big breakthroughs in the case and action scenes. Sometimes he and his partner just need to have a conversation while whatever they're working on is happening in the background. My problem is I'm not exactly sure what that background work would consist of. I wondered if there was a basic day in the life scenario you could run for us that would include both excitement and paperwork ends of the spectrum. Thanks. Thank you Laurie. The reason I like this question is because I think it's something every writer struggles with when writing about any kind of police procedure. So let's start by simplifying what a homicide detective needs to accomplish. So for starters, everything they do is written in a report.
So we'd obviously don't want to make this story all about report writing, but day one, responded to the scene of the crime and interviewed the responding patrol officers that that right there is a report. Canvas the neighborhood and interview any witnesses. Each witness interview is a report. Forensic unit notifies detectives of evidence findings at the crime scene, which technically is a report that the forensic folks would write, but it's something the detective would need to follow up on to make sure the report is completed and that they read that report and include it in the overall case file or murder book, whatever you want to call it. They would have to attend the autopsy and collect any evidence from that, that again is a report. Anything that identifies someone as a potential suspect, that of course is a report. And then that interview and/or interrogation of that person is another report.
You obviously get the idea, and you certainly don't want to bore the reader with cops writing reports of course. But you as the writer need to do two things. One, take the logical next step in the investigation and two, keep the story moving. So what would you, as you sit here listening to this podcast, what would you do next after you've left the initial crime scene of a murder?.. Continue reading...
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