One minute I was writing about a romance, the next a dead body fell out of a wardrobe!
That’s the trouble when you are a pantster, rather than a plotter – the unexpected happens. My characters were misbehaving!
What started out for me as just a romance, was taken over by a mystery – the heroines’ mother had disappeared when she was young. It did not start out as a murder investigation, just a plot hole, and the more back story I wrote, the more things kept happening, and now, unfortunately, a dead body has been found, ten years after the mother disappeared.
But, the crucial thing is, how do I keep it authentic?
And, what resources can I find online, or in a book that will keep the Police investigation accurate? Note I am talking about the UK here.
So here are a few places that I have found useful:
- Crimewritingsolutions.wordpress site and blog, written by Kevin. N. Robinson, he has over 30 years experience in the Police. His site has a load of information which you can work through, plus he supports writers to ensure their writing is accurate. He also provides an email if you can’t find the answer you need on the site. Plus he is the author of several books: The British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers 2016 and 218 Facts a writer need to know about the Police
- Future Learn course – Identifying the Dead ‘The first step in any investigation involving a death is to determine the identity of the deceased. This free online course will take you on a journey through the world of forensic anthropology, unveiling the tools that will allow you to reveal that identity.’ Please note that at present they do not have a date set for the next course, but you can register interest. There is also a twitter hashtag – #FLForensicsID to follow.Other twitter people to follow – @valmcdermaid @forensicsnews @ForensicHumanID #forensics Go and be nosy. Follow their latest tweets, there are loads of links to new reports etc to keep your work authentic, and maybe to inspire a story.
- www.coronersociety.org.uk/history If it is a dead body, it needs to be identified and you need to know who does that and how.
- Stephen Wade – writes about real life crime history, but is a wealth of knowledge, especially if your crime is not set in the present day. I heard him speak at the Romantic Novelists Association – Lancaster 2016
- Stuart Gibbon – again an experienced Senior Detective with over 30 years service. Stuart runs a consultancy for Crime writers if they need help with their manuscript, checking facts, etc. I also heard him at the RNA conference 2016.
I am not writing a crime, or a thriller (I hope), but a romance with an element, call it a subplot with a mystery in it which needs to be solved. It just needs a light touch to get it right. I hope some of the above will be useful, and do let me know if there are other resources that you have used.