Writer Problems: Weird Searches

I think a lot of writers can relate to this. I do worry about what certain people would make of my searches, like baby name websites, the location and structure of The International Criminal Court and it’s associated prison and just what is the most common drug to be used in my local area, and that’s just for the crime elements of my stories!

Where Landsquid Fear to Tread

Sometimes, Squiders, I’m thankful I’m a fantasy author. Well, a lot of the time. But, in this case, I get to avoid some of the more macabre searches that mystery and other genre authors probably have to do.

Luckily, in this day and age, your search history is between you and the NSA, and you don’t have to, I don’t know, make friends with police officers or surgeons or undertakers to get information or whatever it was people did before the Internet existed.

But we still need information, and in order to make stories interesting, sometimes we need really strange and disturbing information that would make people think you were a serial killer if you brought it up in normal conversation.

I imagine mystery/thriller writers have it the worse, what with having to come up with new and inventive ways to kill people. But I’ve had to make some odd…

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Camp NaNoWriMo Pre-Jitters

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More something out of curiosity here.

Why is it, in the hours, days and weeks before any NaNoWriMo session do myself and other participants I have spoken to start reconsidering their projects and have a desire to change it?

Is it nerves? Jitters at having committed to doing a full novel/script/rewrite/short story collection/etc. in just a month? Genuinely better ideas or something else? For me, especially lately, I always seem to get onto a Sly Cooper kick and want to write crime fiction with my thief characters. (My current kick I am blaming on the fact that I have found within the last week the teaser trailer for the movie, due out in 2016). You will know which characters I am talking about if you were following me in July last year. Have a read of my word count updates from that month by clicking on the July 2013 link in the side bar if you want to find out more. Maybe it’s something inside telling me I ought to go back to them and write more with them or maybe it is nerves at having committed myself to such a big project.

So is this phenomenon, if you will, isolated to me and my friends or is it something more widespread? If anyone who reads this blog does do NaNo (Camp or otherwise), can you tell me if you or anyone else you know have ever experienced it? If you don’t do NaNoWriMo but do commit to big projects (not necessarily literary) for whatever reason, do you experience something similar?

I’m really curious now about any replies I get back. For now though, I think I need to get listening to the Wicked soundtrack. It might quell the rebellious crime fiction thoughts that are plaguing my mind so I can focus on my project for next month. More details, if you are interested, are available by visiting Camp NaNoWriMo Planning.

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Food and Detectives in Crime Fiction

Thanks to someone who I follow on Tumblr (I am so sorry! I can’t remember who!),  I’ve just been listening to an episode of the Food Programme from BBC Radio 4 on the BBC’s iPlayer for radio.

The episode is called Feeding the Detective, looking at how food is now playing a large part in modern crime fiction, going right back to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. For any BBC Sherlock fans, the episode features a very short interview with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss who reveal that the detective develops a hankering for chips in the first episode of the next series!

It is fascinating and certainly opened my eyes (or should that be ears?) to how food can be used to shape characters and stories, not just in crime fiction but all types of fiction.

You can listen to the episode here. Due to this being on the BBC iPlayer, I do not know if it is available outside of the UK and I cannot tell you how long it will stay on so listen to it ASAP if you are able to!

 

JK Rowling or Robert Galbraith: How to pick a pen name-BBC News

After the revelation that JK Rowling published a crime novel under a pen name, the BBC News website has published an interesting article discussing why established and new authors sometimes write under a pseudonym, including discussion of why editors will suggest a pen name and the effects of an author’s name on book sales. If you want to create a pen name for yourself, the last section (Make It Memorable) offers advice on doing so. You will find the article here: JK Rowling or Robert Galbraith: How to pick a pen name

I do intend to (hopefully!) publish under my name but this article has me thinking about whether my real name  is right for the genre I want to write in. Would it sound good as the author of a fantasy novel or crime or another type of writing? I do have a middle name but it is very effeminate so I may, in that respect, have a similar problem to Rowling: boys don’t buy or read books by women.

In time, I will probably know but for now, I am happy to post some of my work on deviantART under my username whilst continuing to write and, hopefully, at least get published in more traditional ways.