Just. Keep. Going.
Can I reverse engineer a murder/crime story?
Can I start with the death then build the characters, their motivation, the plot points backwards from there?
I love a spreadsheet and Midsomer Murders, when you watch a couple of them back to back it’s easy to slip into their perfect rhythm. This is when I wonder if I can start with a ‘spreadsheet’ structure of a story, then fill it in? Kind of like colouring by numbers, or building from scaffolding.
The internet will be full of lists of the component parts I’m sure and I could probably find interviews with some of the crime writers I like.
I saw a video by Hans Zimmer, a movie composer, he was talking about composing the Batman scores. He made a couple of references to a million other people having put the same few notes together before, and embracing the option of making credible music on an iPad because was makes the music great is the story it’s telling.
Back to story.
Is my murder story a story about murder? Probably not.
Is it a story about someone who wanted something they couldn’t have? Maybe.
Is it a story about someone who made a relatively small mistake but the cover up got out of control? Maybe
Is it a story about someone trying to escape something? Maybe.
Is it a story about someone who intended to kill for the sake of killing? Maybe, but maybe not. That feels a little too dark and horrible. Though I could make it more of a psycho-thriller and I would love the psychology and cast study research for the baddy.
Ok, before my 10 mins is up, I’m going to pick a story and the commit to spending the rest of August developing it to see how far I can get and where it leads me.
So, as a Fargo fan, I do love a story of a minor problem with major cover up problems.
As a Midsomer fan, I love a story of material gain at all costs, or spurned lover, or ruined reputation.
As a dark humour fan, I love a Christopher Brookmyre-ian cock up.
That’s it. I’m no Brookmyre and as grey as Melbourne is today I don’t know its gritty side to do that dirty Edinburgh feel he is so great at, but I’m going for minor problem with out of control cover up with a dash of dark humour if I can manage it.
Great, there’s a plan.