Yesterday I did some great research for the project, I watched a Midsomer and a police procedural called Happy Valley.
I love the ‘reset’ quality of Midsomer et al. The characters often learn something professional or personal each week that is never seen or heard of again. Last night I saw the ‘new’ Barnaby meditating. Happily that won’t come up again.
Happy Valley is anything but happy A family torn apart by drugs, death and policing. I think it must be a six partner and I’ve seen the last three episodes. These characters have a long narrative and the mistakes they make and lessons they learn stay with them.
At this point, my interest is in writing a potential series starter, not a serial.
I want neat endings, stories than can be understood in isolation or out of sequence.
I remember going off the world of Kay Scarpetta when it focussed more on her personal life and had to be read in sequence. Earlier, the story was still enjoyable even if her niece was 10 years older or younger than the last time she’d been referenced.
Write what you know.
I know I enjoy a story that will hold my attention from beginning to end and can be picked up and put down depending on what else is happening in my world. Sometimes that story is contained in one book, sometimes it’s a world that I’ve been in before and enjoy visiting from time to time because it’s familiar enough but I don’t have to get bogged down in the details of the world. Each visit can be contained within itself. I’m not the only person in that audience.
I am lucky that I do have access to an ex-Detective and a Barrister to help me get an understanding of how much or how little research I need to do for some basic believability without be a stickler for reality. This is fiction after all.
Today is cold, grey, wet and windy.