clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, September 10, 2012

The wrong alley

I might have taken a story down the wrong alley.

As a qualifier, I haven't written a detective mystery before. I have mysteries but never with anything resembling a detective as the protagonist. I felt it was time to try.

I gave the protagonist a lovely pistol. It's distinct and reflective of his considered approach to matters of crime. (You have to trust me on this point). It isn't merely a roscoe. [ Fedora tip to Robert Bellem.]

I didn't intend for him to use it. I merely displayed it as a prop to have a cop put my protagonist in cuffs at one point. I wanted to establish a resistance to his presence on the part of locals.

Of course, following the Chekhov Rule I need to have him use it.  It is not suitable as a red herring. I despise those sort of ruse writing tricksters that defeated me as a boy only to introduce new and unknowable evidence in the last chapter. I'm not going there. I give a guy a gun, he's going to shoot at something.

Now, I have to use the Chandler rule : "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."

Not the worst solution.

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