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Alternate Crimes: I suppose you're all wondering why I've gathered you here...

David Flin

Real people take priority over imaginary people
Mystery fiction really does seem to be the genre that best suits going very archetypal in your characters.
I suspect that's at least in part because the emphasis tends to be on the mystery, rather than the characters. When I've tried to write mystery fiction, I've found that I was having enough difficulty keeping the mystery elements logical and balanced (not too easy to spot, not too difficult), and complications from characters made this much harder.
 

Fenwick

Well-known member
Published by SLP
That is why archetypes is best. Not because people need to act in specific ways but because you need to be able to find a conflict and go "oh okay that may be the culprit."
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If you have issue with writing the crime I would point to the above. First... how did they die? Let's say man was shot (a gun), in his home with the door unlocked (a key), and he stole peoples money (debt), and had a mistress (cad).

So we have evidence and motive. Both are treated the same in that they direct the detective to suspects. Then just link at least two people to EACH piece of evidence. The gun? Well the working man and his socialite wife LOST their gun before the murder... DUN DUN DUNNNNN. The key? We have the lost soul running the victims home, and his new man business partner both having a key! Next we get that the lost soul and the new man put much of their money into the debt. The socialite was cheating on the working man with the victim.

And from that... pick somebody. Pick whoever works best. The crime does not need to be complex but the people who want to commit it CAN be complex.
 

Lemon flavoured

A crass and dangerously inaccurate account.
Location
Hucknall, Notts
Pronouns
He/Him
Which is ironic considering Pratchett originally made him up as more of an embrace of clichés, as his only purpose was to be a temporary viewpoint character until Carrot arrived. Not quite how it turned out!
I've said this before, but I never really liked Carrot as a main character (eg his POV bits in The Fifth Elephant). He was always better in a supporting role.
 

David Flin

Real people take priority over imaginary people
I've said this before, but I never really liked Carrot as a main character (eg his POV bits in The Fifth Elephant). He was always better in a supporting role.
I have to say that I enjoyed Vimes in his first appearances, up until he started to become Superman. For me, Night Watch marks the transition. It's a problem Pratchett had with a number of popular characters - Granny Weatherwax and the Patrician spring to mind - of their getting increasing levels of candy, and the spinach disappears from view.
 
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Thande

Catch '22
Published by SLP
I have to see that I enjoyed Vimes in his first appearances, up until he started to become Superman. For me, Night Watch marks the transition. It's a problem Pratchett had with a number of popular characters - Granny Weatherwax and the Patrician spring to mind - of their getting increasing levels of candy, and the spinach disappears from view.
Yes, I think that's fair. I enjoyed Lipwig's appearance as the new protagonist in Going Postal because it felt Vimes had gone as far as he could go.
 

Lemon flavoured

A crass and dangerously inaccurate account.
Location
Hucknall, Notts
Pronouns
He/Him
I have to see that I enjoyed Vimes in his first appearances, up until he started to become Superman. For me, Night Watch marks the transition. It's a problem Pratchett had with a number of popular characters - Granny Weatherwax and the Patrician spring to mind - of their getting increasing levels of candy, and the spinach disappears from view.
It just about works with Granny, because she's supposed to be basically super powered anyway, just good at not showing it off, but you have a point about the others. With Vimes at least it is explained in story as being due to the events of Thud!
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
Location
France
middle aged, single or divorced, has a bit of a drinking problem and is in no way upper class
So a lot like the writers of the stories themselves? Not that I recognize myself in this description at all, perish the thought...

WIAF does use the criminal investigation angle in one of the spin-off stories, "Trance Junkie" by @Bruno--the investigator checks every box of the quintessential Noir detective, except that he's a Siberian shaman and some of the people he asks questions to happen to be deceased.

One of the best examples of lost soul/new man conflict I've come across is in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, with Fowler the slacking, cynical British reporter on the one hand, and Pyle the overenthusiastic American operative on the other. Interestingly, Greene very much intended the old soul to be the positive character by default, but the first time the novel was adapted, the subverted trope was instead played straight because of course American idealism could never be misguided. (The second adaptation was more faithful to that aspect of the novel).
 
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