Friday 2 July 2021

So you want to write a crime novel. Part 7: Characters

 Characters have character. At its simplest, the people who inhabit your crime novel - the characters - all have different characters or characteristics.

It used to be the fashion that writers began and ended with the plot in a crime novel and that the intricacies of that plot were what made the books so readable and interesting. That still holds true when you read some of the golden age fiction of John Bude or Freeman Wills Crofts. The latter, especially, majored on intricately tight time schedules. To the modern reader, these books can be bland because we have grown used to the characters and their interactions driving the events of the books we read.

These days, writers, including crime writers, generally begin with, perhaps, their protagonist and antagonist and the bare bones of a plot. It is knowing your characters and how they would behave in a given situation that will drive that plot.

If you would like to read more, you can find my longer blog on characters here

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