Saturday, 22 October 2011

So Shoot Me

Over on the Crime Writers of Canada National Crime Writing Blog we're writing on the theme of how killing people on paper isn't as easy as it seems. Blame it on CSI, but the average reader is much more savvy about things like blood spatter and gunshot residue. That means if you use these technical terms, you better use them properly.

I ran into a problem when I was using - that is, misusing - prescription drugs. Sure, most people won't know that it's hard to kill someone quickly with drug overdoses. Then a nurse will read your ms and tell you it doesn't work that way. Fortunately the nurse is a friend and she happened to have her outdated copies of her drug bibles. 

Some authors get around the technicalities by letting the cops work it out while their amateur sleuth puzzles out the motives. Others, myself included, do a lot of research. If we're lucky and tenacious, we make friends in the right places. I pick the brains of my friends, my friends' friends and people on the street if I over hear an irresistible tidbit of information. My children pretend they don’t know me, then laugh at me later.

Currently I have an almost pathological need to ask police officers questions. You can always tell when a cop walks into a coffee shop where I'm writing. My eyes light up. I take in visual details and look for an opening to glean a bit more knowledge.

So shoot me.

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