Turning to Crime

Recently, I’ve been turning my hand to crime-writing – inspired by some of the competitions mentioned on Helen’s blog.

I’ve sent my entry into the M.R. Hall competition (by email after the on-line form kept insisting that my entry was longer than the required 2,000 characters, but I think that glitch is fixed now).

My entry for the Cremona Hotel competition has been drafted – but will no doubt need a generous dose of spit and polish before it’s ready to go on its way.

Now I’m turning my mind to brainstorming ideas for the GKBC competition (stands for Giving Kudos to Brilliant Content) and after that there’s the ‘Win a Book’ competition in the May issue of Writing Magazine (write 250 words in which someone pulls a gun on a bank cashier).

Alongside this, and to get me into the mind-set of a crime writer, I’ve been reading Crime in the City – the Official Crime Writers’ Association Anthology 2003. I’ve just looked on Amazon and only second-hand copies are available now – so maybe I’ve got a rarity here!

Like all good stories, these tales are character-led and usually contain no great detail about the mechanics of the crime involved or the police procedures used in solving it. The latter often puts people (including me) off penning crime fiction for fear of getting the investigative procedures wrong, so short stories could be a good starting point.

The best way of finding out about police procedure is to make friends with a policeman but failing that, there are resources available on the internet. After a quick trawl I’ve found:

Or if you want some advice from the professionals (and have £99 to spare) why not book a place on Creative Thursday at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival.

Now, time to decide how my next victim’s going to die …

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  1. #1 by Sue McGreal on April 23, 2013 - 10:13 am

    I love this genre – makes up most of my reading diet and a fair proportion of my TV viewing! Thanks for the links.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on April 23, 2013 - 12:12 pm

      I watch loads of TV crime too, Sue. Hope you find the links useful.

  2. #3 by Wendy Clarke on April 23, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    This is a genre that I know I would be quite hopeless at! Good luck with the competitions, Sally.

  3. #5 by Tracy Fells on April 23, 2013 - 3:09 pm

    Good luck Sally and hope you make crime pay! Thanks for the really useful links too. I find this a very difficult genre to write for, but sometimes you have to think beyond police stories and focus on the crime and impact on characters.

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on April 24, 2013 - 6:22 am

      I think you’re right, Tracy, the impact on the characters is what will make a reader keep reading.

  4. #7 by susan jones on April 23, 2013 - 5:55 pm

    Hi Sally, I’ve had a go at the gun in the bank one, writing magazine, and the Cremona one sounds like a good crime scene doesn’t it, I like the prize, so shall have a bash. Or maybe my killer could have a bash.

  5. #9 by Anne Harvey on April 23, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    Another brilliant post, Sally. Not that I’m thinking of turning to crime! But good to know the info is out there if needed. Thanks.

  6. #10 by Beverley Argent on April 28, 2013 - 3:04 am

    I hope your hard work and research pays off! Crime has so many threads you have to keep track of, I often end up tying my characters in a knot!

    • #11 by Sally Jenkins on April 28, 2013 - 9:20 am

      I don’t think it’s going to be easy, Beverley!

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