1. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    Does crime fiction have to be realistic?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JackLUFC, Aug 22, 2013.

    I'm not talking in terms of the violence involved here, I'm talking about the setting - perhaps the setting forum would be more appropriate for this thread?

    I'm setting a book in a UK city that's probably not up near the top in terms of the amount of serious crime. Would this matter or would the story's realism be unaffected?

    Ta.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It can be as fantastic an bizarre as you like. The real key to crime fiction is fascinating, often outlandish characters.
     
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  3. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    Thanks. :)
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm also writing a crime novel set in the Uk, and main part of the story occurs in a tiny boring town in Suffolk. I chose it because I know it reasonably well. However, I decided to not name the town. It's been done enough times in literature, and I'll do it too.

    I agree with Cogito as well.
     
  5. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Does any fiction have to be realistic? No, it doesn't. You create the world. Ohh gosh i remembered when I was struggling with realism as I wrote my first novel. If you ask me, when it comes to writing fiction, all things are permissible. As long as you bring it all together in the story. It's not non-fiction. The purpose of fiction, for it's very creation is to entertain...to thrill. So go on man, give us a show.
     
  6. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    So long as there are people in the town, you will always have the potential for serious crimes.
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look at the likes of Miss Marple - sleepy little village, population 84 - there's a murder every Tuesday evening during watercolour class!
     
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  8. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    The Inspector Barnaby series by Caroline Graham are set in the sleepy English Midsomer County. Midsomer is full of little Christiesque villages with names like Badger's Drift and Midsomer Deeping. And it happens to have probably the highest per capita murder rate in all of fiction. It was made into an amazing TV series called "Midsomer Muders."
    Some of the ways people have been killed include beheading by guillotine, pitchfork stabbing, and one guy was staked to the ground with croquet wickets and then bludgeoned by wine bottles launched from a homemade catapult.
    It's the characters, their motivations, and the way the setting is described which makes a place realistic or not.
     
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  9. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    I also fail to see how a town without serious crime has anything to do with realism. There are plenty of crime novels where the setting is a very tiny town. This even adds an element of fear as it shows crime can strike anywhere, even in safetown,wherever where no one even locks their doors. The next novel I'm planning is set in nowhereville, New York with the disappearance of a young woman.

    Think of the Benett Ramsey case. CNN had a story on a cold case that went unsolved for almost 50 years where a young girl was kidnapped and murdered in a town of less than 2,000 people. Crime happens anywhere.

    I believe it was sherlock holmes who once claimed that the most violent crimes happen in the countryside.
     
  10. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    Yeah, Midsomer Murders is great.
    Haha, that's true.
     
  11. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I generally agree with all the above. But just in case you're looking for plot devices, I was just jogging in Hamburg, and on my path somehow I came upon one of the prisons there. I heard a man (inside the prison) and a beautiful, well-dressed, very slim young lady (outside, across the street) shouting code-words at each other. The lady jotted them all down and then removed herself from the scene as fast as possible. Since we happened to be on a collision course, I got a close look at her. She was very nervous, I can tell you that. Probably thought I was an undercover policeman or something. And very beautiful.

    Always wonder how girls like that wind up in that sort of condition. Probably either (don't want to do her an injustice of course, but it's my best guess) a girl with few morals and a profound sense of materialism ("if he can buy me the iPhone I want, I can stay with him, who cares about running drugs?") or she has risen out of the bonds of slavery and prostitution by being exceptionally pretty and is compelled to work for her boss by fear of going back where she came from.
     
  12. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Honestly, if you went for complete realism you'd bore the reader. 95% of crime scene investigation is someone moving around collecting bullet casings and DNA. One detectives get a lead on a 'person of interest' it's not much different than what you see on the television.

    While CSI touches on some of the technology available everything else is fictionalized and glorified. It, of course, can be a template if you want.
     
  13. Michael O
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    Michael O Contributing Member

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    A full grow beast of the jungle male chimpanzee and Emilio is a psycho. Abandoned by its mother at birth, a married couple, both Cuban research scientists and no children adopt the little fella. Not their intent to raise Emilio without other Chimp contact but Fidel Castro made it so when they escaped.

    Emilio wears diapers, teeth are as yellow as they are big and he smokes Cuban cigars while watching I Love Lucy. Insane chimp laughter is prompted by laughter on television and if he's not laughing just one look in his eyes and you know...They scream crazy. Not the eat-their-poop crazy you see in zoos. The Norman Bates type of cheese-slid-off-the-cracker and his parents are in complete denial.

    He befriends cats only to drown them in the swimming pool and empties the neighborhood of cats while his owners are too embarrassed to carry dead pets back to their owners. Actually, it more than embarrassment, afraid their only child could be taken from them. So what if he's hairier than most. They love Emilio so holes are dug. So quick and easy, in Florida's sand. Out of sight-out of mind.

    And children, those small enough and swim alone at night are interesting to Emilio. If he can figure out how to get cats by the pool...What challenge is an unlocked window?

    This chimp and his owners were worth a few paragraphs. Part of the story. Wild animals should be left in the wild. Especially the ones more fucked-up than a football bat.

    Shit Fire, save matches and smoke-um if you got-em.
     

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