Homework for Meeting on Thursday June 8, 2017

The following message is from Hugh Burton, who has kindly agreed to do a presentation at the Thursday June 8 IAG meeting. Thanks, Hugh. writing detective-152085__480 pixabay

The presentation for the June meeting is a look at the writing of detective fiction at which I will be:

  1. providing a brief look at the evolution of the genre.
  2. Using examples from various published authors to illustrate the successful methods of developing plot, characters and settings and maintaining interest in particular reference to the authors that write serial mysteries using the same set of characters.
  3. Providing time for the reading and discussion of some of the plots that you have developed as homework.

Homework guide lines:

I hope that you will take some time between now and the June meeting to sketch out ONE OR ALL of the following:

  1. the plot for a mystery. Although I will be mainly covering murder mysteries in the presentation, your sketch may involve terrorism, espionage, or a bank heist etc. However, irrespective of what plot you develop it should Include Method, means and opportunity and should be plausible.
  2. The setting. While you are working on the plot you should be imagining the setting because this will significantly influence the development of the character of the detective, main character and other cast members and the ways in which they will interact. For example, you might choose to write about a sleepy English village populated by a predominantly rather stuffy, snobbish, dogmatic group of characters. This gives the opportunity of developing a detective or main character whose nature is at variance and therefore provides a venue for lots of subtle social interactions.
  3. The disposition of the main character (e.g., detective) and those who are absolutely essential to the story line.

You may choose a main character that is taciturn, manipulative, abrasive, caustic, a loner, or a team player. Remember that this character is primarily responsible for the solution to the mystery and will therefore, be interacting intimately with most of the other characters so that her/his character should be definitive enough to elicit a variety of interesting social interactions. You may want to give your lead character some internal problems to deal with such as a drinking problem, or an ailing partner.

If you find yourself having trouble getting going or need more information please feel free to send me a note at hughlejeune@gmail.com.

I look forward to an interesting and fun session in June. I was actually planning to do this as a two part presentation as it would have made it more efficient but we will have to do the best we can with the time available.    hb

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