clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, February 23, 2015


At left, a copyright-free image from wikicommons of a nail knot.

It's more simple than it looks. Bwahahaha.

The nail knot is used regularly in fly fishing though I as a fly-fishing sailor-man make it a practice NOT to try and tie one while up to my chest in freezing water. Nail knots are necessary but not pleasant things to have come out consistently well.

That's our theme today, too.


The character doesn't only walk across the room. He doesn't merely kiss the broad. She doesn't just leave her husband. Nobody simply shoots the vicar.

In crime, every action provokes two reactions. The good stuff makes both those reactions unanticipated.

When you think the story is flat (and I have many in the cooler), think of the simplest actions in the narrative. Then, crumple the expectation of a direct and straightforward action-reaction pairing. Crumple it right up.

The character gets out of the car to go inside. He's on the hook for cash he hasn't got. He's on the way in to tell the wife they've lost it all due to his degenerate gambling.

The neighbor is loading a rug into the station wagon only it seems the rug is a little heavy.

Now, a simple action-reaction pair has become something else.

Tell the wife you're into the sharks, she walks. Tell the wife the neighbor is hauling a body of the house, something else takes off.

When the pair peek out the curtain to see if he's still at it, he's standing by the door having a smoke, looking at their house.

Gambling debts don't look so bad. Might not even come up in casual conversation.

So, don't just pass the salt at the dinner table.

You can think up something better. I hope I can as well.

There's plenty to do.

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