1. keysersoze

    keysersoze Senior Member

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    I don't want to write a detective character in my crime story

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by keysersoze, Mar 3, 2020.

    I am writing a play in which a scattered guy finds resolve after a complicated plot and murder. But I don't want any inkling of an investigation that would follow him after the murder. I have been watching a lot of crime movies and it seems that a detective is all over the place in all crime stories. But I don't want to write a detective. At all. That is not what the play is about. The premise of the play is 'destruction leads to vitality'. A detective cannot fit in the plot. A detective would destroy all destructiveness. Is it possible to write a crime story without a detective snooping around? I originally intended to end the plot at the murder. The protagonist ends up compromising his conscience that was too heavy on him. That is all. I don't want a detective and all his judgementalism shadowing the narrative. It is an open ended story and a detective would demand all lose threads tied together. What to do? Is it possible to write crime without a detective? What am I missing here?
     
  2. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Of course it's possible. Your character might exist in an anarchical world where law is virtually non-existent and everyone's out for themselves.
     
  3. N.Scott

    N.Scott Active Member

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    Perhaps what you want isn't a crime story but a story that happens to involve a crime? I don't think you need to worry about that before you actually finish a draft. What we thought was a crime story might just be labeled as a romance novel when it reaches the audience/publisher. And the problem with labeling them beforehand is that you tend to follow the genre's convention, which might decrease your passion for what you have in mind.
     
  4. More

    More Active Member

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    In theory, it is possible to write anything you like . As has already been pointed out , trying to eliminate what you don 't want to write , befor you write, is an arse about face way of doing things . You are asking , can I write Lord of the rings , but without the rings , or hobbits . The answer is yes , but it won't be Lord of the rings.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    generally speaking deaths are investigated unless you're going to create a society where thats not a thing, but that doesnt mean you have to include a detective as a character if you don't want to.

    ive got a number of stories about a hitman/assassin which don't include the investigation of the deaths he causes
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting theme. I am made to think of Shiva's incarnation as Nataraja, dancing the Tandava. He is called Shiva the Destroyer, but it's a mistake to think of that coin as having only side. Shiva as Nataraja doesn't so much destroy as create tabula rasa, the clean slate, holding ignorance under his feet so that the new beginning can have a better chance than the last. And, of course, his son is Shri Ganesh, He who blesses all beginnings, which makes perfect sense.

    kisspng-shiva-moradabad-nataraja-ganesha-sculpture-5af57476ee18f2.9145581115260355749753.png

    Where is the story taking place? Put it in a rural setting away from the more invasive nature of surrounding society and I have no difficulty buying the idea of no detective. I imagine a sensation akin to a Marco Berger film, like Hawaii (set in Argentina, as are all his films) where dramas take place in typically Latin American country homes that are large and spacious and filled with unusual corners and hideaways where intense little scenes can play out away from prying eyes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know how a play differs from a short story/novel in terms of POV etc, but if you write it in first-person the whole play could unravel before the law are 'on to him'. Of course an investigation is probably going on, but if you're telling it in first-person it wouldn't factor in the narrative.
     
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  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ganesh looks like he's lifting his leg to fart shamelessly. Good for him.
     
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  9. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Om Namah Shivaya!

     
  10. OB2611

    OB2611 Member

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    I absolutely don't think you need to write a detective into it. There are hundreds of thousands of unsolved crimes in real life, which means that there are plenty of criminals out there who have never been bothered by detectives.

    If the perpetrator has no relationship to the victim, if the victim's body is discarded of or hidden in a way that means there is no immediate reason for anyone to report a murder, if the killer is just lucky enough that they get away with it... you buy yourself time for them to go out into the world without being caught.

    I immediately thought of hitmen. Often a hitman in a story kills tons of people and the police are nowhere to be seen.

    How much time do you intend to play out after the killing?
     
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  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    If I remember right it's not a murder but a financial crime of some sort. Those tend even more so to go un'detected', but mostly if the perpetrator is high-powered or well-connected, which I don't think the perp in the play is. Possibly internal company politics could be so fouled with red tape as to impede any legal proceedings, or maybe the higher-ups in the company don't want officials looking into their own more devious proceedings, so they wouldn't allow police or other authorities into the case.
     
  12. OB2611

    OB2611 Member

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    I'm sorry, I immediately resorted to murder. I must stop doing that :twisted:
     
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  13. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Active Member

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    Not all crime stories are detective stories.
    There is still noir. (Crime Drama.) A world that is so saturated with corruption that criminals do not need to hide, when everyone knows who did and what has been done, but everyone prefers to look away and pretend that nothing is happening. Such stories do not need a detective. Then you need a man so decisive, that is ready to act. (Watch noir movies. They are old, but among them there are many interesting and atypical films where the main character is far from a detective, but just a person who turned out to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOg0aMAXmF3o5m243PxhE5g
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  14. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Yes, it should always be the last solution! ;)
     
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  15. keysersoze

    keysersoze Senior Member

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone. And sorry for the delayed response. Been a bit busy.

    To respond to murder as a last resort, I haven't just stumbled upon a murder. It is going to be vital to the play. As I said, the premise of the play is 'destruction leads to vitality". The primary destruction in the play is the destruction of the father son relationship, which is skewed and emotionally abusive. But it does not have a no comeback scenario. The father is so grandiose that he can always "forgive" the son for his mistakes and there is no need for him to accept his mistakes. So, the son needs to get into a situation from which there can be no come back. That is where the murder of the blackmailer comes in. I thought about Ibsen's A Doll's House and Nora Helmer leaving her home. But she is a woman and a wife. A son has less agency than a wife. Moreover, sentimental expression would not suit a son as it would suit a wife. I tried that, making the son leave the house, the final act instead of the penultimate one. That was what the last thread was about, you would remember @Xoic . It did not work.

    The story is of a criminal in the making. Or an innocent man being pushed into crime by a woman in the flesh trade, by a moralistic but corrupt father and by a criminal boss. At the end, the MC has two choices, either acquiesce to the blackmailer boss, become his bitch and live an immoral life of comfort or kill the boss and take charge of the situation himself.

    What I have thought about is this - the woman would make him commit some smaller situational crimes which he would feel uneasy about in the first act. He expresses concerns about getting caught and she says it does not take much for a smart ass to dodge a criminal investigation. It might work as foreshadowing.

    The narrative ends almost immediately after the murder. This is where it gets flimsy. I want to leave it an open end whether what the MC did was right or wrong or what happened to him was right or wrong. The need of an investigation at the end would destroy the open end. If it feels like the MC character would eventually get caught then it would mean the play has failed. Under no circumstances can a criminal investigation seem possible. That has been my question. So, how can I show that this serious, uptight, and upright individual contains the seeds of becoming a master criminal, a criminal who can dodge any investigation?

    The suggestion of watching noir films is apt. I have been doing that. The question of a detective arose after I watched Double Indemnity. There are similarities in the plots and the essential character of the femme fatale is the same in the two stories. Both are purely evil women.

    I appreciate all the responses even if I can't respond to each of them individually.
     
  16. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Ah so it's about a character "Breaking Bad" so to speak. Sorry I didn't realize there was an actual murder. I guess we're already at the last resort.

    My suggestion is the entire company is corrupt—enough so, and powerful enough, that they can prevent a police investigation because they all have skeletons in their closets that they don't want coming out. That would fit in with a Noir-style setting perfectly. Maybe the executives own the police, or can exert enough pressure on the department to get their way.
     
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