Muddles & Puzzles

POV Confusion

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
I sometimes think “What have I got myself into now?” when writing a crime novel.

I want to make my Cornish Detective’s investigations intriguing—for him and the reader (and me)—but writing about unusual things takes lots of research.

In the new story Kissing & Killing, I have yet to find out these things:

*Who maintains power lines in Cornwall? Is it the company that sells you electricity or a separate engineering firm?

*How is the Zulu nation integrated into South African politics?

*Do veterinarians who operate on exotic wild animals have access to a blood bank or does the zoo keep blood on tap?

*How to tell the difference between cow blood and lion blood?

*How is Russian involved in military interventions in African countries?

*How long-lasting is Intensive Care Unit Syndrome?

*How common are female mercenary soldiers?

*What constitutes a Federal crime in the USA and how does the statute of limitations apply?

*What motivates arsonists?

*Why do some women prefer to date older men? Sugar Daddy Syndrome.

My first draft of a story is dotted with the word CHECK for these factual details. Sometimes, I have to fact-check as I write, if it affects how my characters behave. As Terry Pratchett observed: “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

I reckon that writers’ minds must contain lots of strange information picked up to serve their stories. This might make us brilliant at Trivial Pursuit or pub quizzes. :rolleyes:

Although it’s essential to get facts correct, to avoid looking like an idiot, it doesn’t mean to say you can’t have fun with them.

What muddles and puzzles have you got yourself into writing a story?

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POV Confusion

Overrated & Underrated Stories