8/24/2018 0 Comments
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau. How to tackle investigative writer's block, modern day murder books, and divulging information to witnesses. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to Episode Number Five of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction.
My friend, Danny R. Smith, is a retired Los Angeles Sheriff's Department homicide detective that just released his second novel. It's called Door to a Dark Room*, which is available now on Amazon* or at his website, dickiefloydnovels.com. Door to a Dark Room* is the second book in the Dickie Floyd Detective Novel series. So you'll also want to check out the first novel, A Good Bunch of Men*, which you can get as an ebook right now for 99¢ on Amazon.
Both are fantastic reads! Danny is a great author and a good friend. I'd love it if you check out his books.
Before we get into this week's listener questions, I would like to wish a big thank you to Guy Alton and Joan Raymond for supporting the show through Patreon. The money raised through Patreon helps offset the cost of hosting this podcast and creating the transcriptions, so I really appreciate the support as it allows this podcast to continue. If you would like to support the Writer’s Detective Bureau podcast for as little as $2 a month or to learn more about how you can set up your own Patreon page, go to writersdetective.com/patreon.
This week's first question is really more of a statement: "When I sit down to write, I'm not quite sure how to go about investigating the case. I've been embarrassed to ask questions because I think the answers may be obvious, but not to me."
I'm betting this sounds familiar. You probably have a great idea for a crime story, but now even outlining the scenes of the story has your head spinning. What am I supposed to write? In what order does all of this happen? CSI, DNA, GSR, ADW, DRT. The acronyms alone are enough to make your head spin, so it's easy to feel lost in all of the investigative minutia, and I want you to know you're not alone. That's what this podcast is all about.
I equate it to trying to watch a baseball game with a bunch of diehard fans and not knowing the basics of the game. Yeah, I get that the guy with the bat is trying to hit the ball, but then what? If he hits the ball, which way does the batter run? What happens if the ball is caught? Does it matter if the ball hits the ground? What the heck is a walk? RBI, ERA, DL, DH, WTF. If someone could just explain the basics of the game, this would make so much more sense.
If you feel something similar about writing police procedure, then, for your crime story, the goal of the game is to learn the truth and to be able to prove it. That's it. You're probably thinking, what about the culprit? What about DNA? What about the right to remain silent? What about the clues that need to be in my story? All of those things are important, but your story's North Star is the full truth of what happened. All the rest are tools, tactics, or rules to discover that truth.
Let's start with a vocabulary term for you. It's in Latin, so standby. It's called corpus delicti. It's the legal term that refers to the facts or information showing that a crime was committed by a specific person. You're probably thinking, great. How does that help me? The way we us
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