Previous blogging

PhD Engineering Student Ramblings

Above is a link to my student ramblings at Warwick University. I started in 2004, as I was at the university campus for the first year. When I was kicked out of there, I joined a student house in Leamington Spa. The house was a three-floor terraced house, and I shared it with twenty other PhD students. I had half a room, the wall went through the middle of a window. After the three years were completed my funding stopped so I had to get a job. I found a Post-doc job at Nottingham University. While doing that I continued to write up my PhD.

Detective Fiction Plot Templates

Being a writer, the main part of your job is writing and the rest of it is reading what gets published in the genre that you have chosen. I have been looking on many websites for help with crime fiction story structure. There are a lot of plot help, and all are in the Three Act structure, which is fine. Many, in fact all of them are generic templates that follow the usual format. Attached is my Excel spreadsheet where you can outline the story with all the details. I created my own as there were not any avalable for narration single point of view.

story-tracker-template

Website content published?

I have found a worrying website. The Library of Babel. Within this library which is divided into pages, books, shelves, walls, and rooms, is all the text, created by Jonathan Basile.

This library has been built to locate and show on demand any page of three thousand two hundred character long combination of all the lower case letters of the alphabet, a comma, a space and full stop. This totals twenty-nine different characters, in a book containing one million three hundred and twelve thousand pages, incidentally, each book containing almost seven hundred million words. In essence, this library contains all the words that have or will be ever written, said, joked, lied, recorded, videoed. It contains the text for every single email, text, letter, song lyrics, poem, news article, journal paper, joke, lie and the transcript of every conversation anyone ever had or will have in english, or language that utilises the english alphabet. Each page is given a unique sequential page number, base ten. The characters on each page is locked inside a page number , base twenty-nine so it can be delineated to the lower case alphabet and comma, space, full stop. The algorithm will produce every different combination of the twenty-nine characters consistently, which means what is on each page is preset. So, every novel is in there somewhere, it just has to be located within ten to the five thousand pages. Considering that there are only estimated ten to the eighty atoms in the visible universe.

The above 2 paragraphs can be found in book volume 31 on shelf 4, wall 2 page 200 of 410. So, are the two paragraphs above original? unique? already published? already copyrighted?

Incidentally, 3,200 characters average out to 533 words if an average word is 5 letters plus a space, or comma, or full stop. I have noticed that 500 words fit nicely to one side of an A4 sheet of paper.

The Hardboiled Detective in the 21st Century

Sub-Genre Crime Fiction Noir/Hardboiled Detective, sub-sub-sub-genre Women Sleuths

I might go self-publishing or a mix in between, so I need my promotion and advertising. Blogging is the way to start and gain an interest.

I have in the past, before the accident that was inflicted on myself and changed my life started a book on an ex-CIA guy in Russia around the 1980s. I’ve always been a “Pantser,” that’s someone who writes and creates a story as it comes to mind when writing or writing by the seat of your pants. But got 20,000 words into the story and lost my way, so now I’ve gone to outlines and plotting the whole thing.

I was in a competition, NaNoWriMo, last November. It starts on the 1st and finishes on the 30th by which time you should have started and finished your novel containing at least 50,000 words, that’s 2,667 words a day, every day of November. Didn’t get too far as it is National Novel Writing Month.

So, late 2015 I had noticed that some people in China were producing great counterfeit gold coins and bars with tungsten as it weighs almost the same as gold. You had to scratch the gold to see if there was tungsten underneath, so people were getting robbed outright. Then early 2016 Fisch, a company that produced dimension and weight scales for gold coins, found that if the currency were held and struck, a gold coin would ring, but a tungsten coin would thud. Meanwhile, I was all over the place looking up South-African coins, their cost and sale values. Then ultrasound tools solved everyone’s problems by seeing the multiple layers within a coin or bar.

I thought about creating a Detective Chief Inspector, but researching current publications and founding there were loads so then I went to a private investigator like Magnum P.I. of which I have all seven series on DVD, bloody good Ferrari 308 GTS too. Also, I really like Columbo, which I have all twelve series on DVD. Then there is Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s CIA guy. Good films from the ‘Hunt for Red October’ and the ‘Shadow Recruit,’ but as normal the books are better. My hero Raymond Chandler wrote about a private investigator called Philip Marlowe, bloody good and in crime fiction noir based in the 1930s and 40s. I considered that genre and thought up a private eye. I was on a course for novel-writing, and they said it has to be different, looked at popular novels, and most of them were out there with detectives solving the crime before the person hires them. Most of them were male, so I thought female – entering a sub-sub-genre female sleuth. I looked around, and there were plenty of young women sleeping around and solving mysteries. A few old ladies like Miss Marple so I thought, “Ok, she’s a lesbian. What type?” Looked around and found a geeky/intellectual butch lesbian. The woman I found was DeAnne Smith a very good Canadian/American comedian. “Excellent, just like me but female.” Finished that course: pass. Did a course on crime fiction writing, finished that: pass. Did a course on forensic science, dead bodies are fascinating. Riga-mortice is cool, the second you die, your body loses temperature at about a degree an hour. Twelve hours in your limbs and features start getting stiff. This continues until between sixty-eight and seventy-two hours when muscles relax again. This is one of the things writers use to trick a reader.

Publishers rules contain:
1. Crime fiction genre stories, reading them, all the evidence must be in the story to solve the crime. That’s the problem as the solution must be a surprise, even though all the evidence is there to solve the crime. Result – a writer is someone who can tell a story and manipulate information to make it appear not or very important when it’s the opposite.
2. P.O.V. Or point of view there’s first person-single point of view, the third person-multiple point of view, and a third person-single point of view. They all have rules within them. I chose a first person-single point of view. This meant it is a narration, the protagonist the only person in the story telling it from their opinion. So, they must be in every scene over the novel. I’m not allowed to have any scene or information that my hero doesn’t witness, think or feel, also I’m not permitted to access other characters thoughts or feelings that they do not exhibit.

With all those rules and conditions I started, and sent the first 1,500 words to a literary agent, and she said, “You need to start in action like a James Bond film. You need a hook within your first two to three sentences, to catch your reader and install a need to continue reading. She also said that America is so very religious that a book with a lesbian in it will not sell in America at all. I’ve got eleven characters, and I’ve lived them for over a year, so they are staying, to hell with America, as I can sell books in other countries.

Anyways on to publication of fiction to join my four journal fact publications and conferences I currently have published.
The above probably contains many grammar errors, I’m prone to comma splices, and I do them all the time. V-bad as they make you look like a ninny to publishers.
All of this is very, very interesting to me, so I’m happy enough.