Last week a dear friend sent me a link regarding another competition. This is about writing a short story with a predetermined topic, ‘contact’. I will definitely take this opportunity. I had an idea for the beginning or the general topic right away. That’s why I nearly forgot writing about my current book project. But I don’t want to let it get there. I have only written about fifty pages, but the structure and the end are already in place. As a passionate crime story reader as well as watcher I would like to try writing one myself and again the characters shall be in the focus. What else should come to the fore is the humour. However, only as far as it’s good for the story, that is, the whole thing does not make it a comedy.
Without knowing it first, I have imposed a certain degree of difficulty on myself: the story is told from the first-person perspective. The first-person perspective here is the female detective Rose Woodbury, an American policewoman just before her retirement. Writing a thriller from a single angle is not that easy, as it is almost impossible to lead different narrative strands and ultimately let them come together as when using a third person narrator. The surprise moments are also far more difficult to write, as I cannot write about facts, circumstantial evidence, suspects and the like, about which Rose does not yet know. Turns come totally out of the blue. But I am still at the beginning and that is why I believe that it will develop. Maybe through my research (read more crime novels and watch more crime movies) I might get some helpful tips.
As I said, Rose is an older, experienced detective who has a distinctly younger partner Fox who sometimes isn’t the most helpful. For this reason (and a few more) she regularly remembers the time with her first partner Cal. This time is already about thirty years ago. In many of her steps, she thinks about how Cal would have handled the situation, or she falls into fond memories, as they also had a friendly relationship, of course. On top of that, Rose had become a detective at a time when women in the job were often ridiculed. Even her own husband had not taken her as seriously and supported her as he should have done as a husband. Cal, however, was much more open and saw in Rose what she was capable of. From the beginning, she had felt encouraged by him. You see, my story has several levels, including that of gender roles.
By the way, this story is for once set in America, in the fictional city of Carter up in the north. Before I started writing, I had watched some American crime movies that were set in the North, in the snow. This grabbed me so much that I somehow couldn’t imagine allowing my story to happen in another region.
Before I continue to write, however, I must first write the short story. In fact, compared to my novel, it has a deadline for submissions.
However, there is more about the characters in my next blog entry.