| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!

View
 

Ten Rules for Writing Golden Age Detective Fiction

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

Ten rules for writing Golden Age Detective Fiction (Irony Alert)

 

  1. The victim shall be someone who, despite being universally loathed, has no difficulty in surrounding themselves with friends, relatives, employees and colleagues.
  2. The murderer shall kill the victim using a method that a) is clearly murder and b) is available only to a small circle of individuals. Genuinely untraceable murder methods (such as anonymously hiring a hit-man) shall be avoided at all costs.
  3. To compensate for their poor choice of murder method, the murderer will devise an elaborate plan to cast suspicion away from themselves and on to one or more other people. Despite being based on detailed and untested assumptions about human behaviour, this plan will initially succeed perfectly.
  4. The investigator shall be a bright and wealthy person with an international reputation who is thrilled by the prospect of spending a great deal of their own time and money prying into the sordid affairs of perfect strangers.
  5. The aforesaid perfect strangers will not question or resent this intrusion but – after some initial grumbling – will bare their souls to the investigator and reveal compromising secrets that they have never before told anyone.
  6. These witnesses and suspects will be perfectly willing to spend their time and money on investigating the death of a person they loathed, including acting in a dramatic reconstruction of the circumstances of the crime, and coming back together at considerable inconvenience for the dénouement.
  7. The witnesses and suspects will be able to remember and recount with perfect clarity everything they said and did days, weeks, months or years ago. Any deviation from the truth on the part of a witness shall be a deliberate attempt to deceive and not forgetfulness or simple ignorance.
  8. The death of a second or third victim shall not be taken by anyone as a reflection on the competence of the investigator, but rather as an encouraging sign that he or she is getting close to a solution.
  9. Low-level police operatives will be well-meaning but slow. Mid-level police operatives will be active but hostile. High-level police operatives will recognise the sterling qualities of the investigator and allow them full access to any evidence gathered by officials.
  10. When confronted with their guilt the accused shall not point out the paucity of the evidence against them or the threadbare nature of the detective’s reasoning, but shall instead engage in some dramatic act which makes their capture or demise a certainty.

 

Jon Jermey

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.