RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V4 #463

From: Marianne Macdonald ( marianne.macdonald@lineone.net)
Date: 13 Aug 2002

On Tuesday, August 13, 2002, at 08:00 AM, RARA-AVIS Digest wrote:

> >Ian Rankin on police procedure: "I've never made it all up.

I've always felt that it is silly and distracting to try to 'make it up'. When you need to get the basic facts correct in something you're writing, so that the narrative isn't crippled by inaccuracies, or holes, you do some research, maybe talk to a policeman. Then you use what you need. But the procedural element is only what is necessary to plot (and character development perhaps); it is not the subject of the book. We may be nitpicking here: as you say,

> Rankin writes cop stories that are
> deliberately designed to give the impression of
> verisimilitude (and I'm willing to take him at his
> word that they actually are accurate).

But I don't find that at the heart of the book, as I do in for example a McBain. And although I agree with you that
> the
> APPEARANCE of technical accuracy is apparently
> important to him
I simply don't accept that it has the kind of blanket primacy in these books that ?you originally claimed makes a book a pp.

As for the question of why "us guys" do so much analysing and hair-splitting - it must be fun, or something.


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