RARA-AVIS: Not Quite "The Hell With Write What You Know."

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Feb 2008

Sometimes, K.B.S seems like an altar ego.

He said:

>>Whatever sense of "reality" Gores (or Hammett or
whomever) bestows on their fiction could just as easily be done by any good writer with a bit of research, a dash of imagination and empathy in spades.

>>Yep, those are all the qualities a good detective should
have too ...<<

I think he is correct. Ed McBain was never a cop, but managed to create the police procedural by doing the research. Jeff Lindsay was probably never a serial killer, but he and Dexter creep out a lot of people--me, very recently.

What bothers me more is when lawyer X comes up with a gotcha with some point of law, or Cop Y comes up with a gotcha and says "cops would never act like that." Maybe cop Y would never act like that in his particular jurisdiction. In fact, maybe another cop in cop Y's jurisdiction wouldn't act like that.

The greater truth, I think, is the emotional truth. Does it feel right to the reader. Maybe not to lawyer X or cop Y, but if the writer is good it feels right to the greatest majority of her or his readers.

As to PI's ... Isn't there a famous quote from an 87th precinct, paraphrased, "The last time I had a PI involved in a murder was never." Accurate for the cop speaking, yet you read in high-profile cases all the time where PIs are involved.

Most of the PIs I know, and I only know a few, hardly ever leave their offices.

Jack Bludis

http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/JackBludis http://jackbludis.com/ http://thrillingdetective.com/fiction/03_06.html

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