Your Questions for RC Bridgestock, Please!

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Novel writing. TV script consultancy. What are the skills differences for you as story-tellers?
 
Thinking about the creative process, what are the pros and cons of writing as a partnership rather than individually?
 
From the Belgian Poirot, English Morse and Barnaby to the American Colombo, French Maigret and the Italian Montalbano- who is your favourite detective? In literature, the British seem to reign supreme when it comes to detectives, do you think this could be due to the high standards Scotland Yard is famed for? How about your own detective DI Jack Dylan, whose footsteps does he fit in, or has he made his own?
 
A non-writing related question, but I'm super curious: Bob, I read you were a hostage negotiator. How does one become a hostage negotiator? (It sounds ever such a fascinating and rewarding job.)
 
Have you learned to live with certain writerly habits that irritate you about each other? Or do you have occasional bickerthons about consistent misspellings/grammatical tics/stylistic idiosyncrasies etc.?

What about when you have disagreements about the way the current WIP is going? How do you tend to resolve them? Ever resorted to tossing a coin? :D
 
How much do you plot? Do you let the story unfold as you write? Or do you plot even the tiniest details in advance to make sure all the pieces of a crime fit together? And if so do you feel this hinders your creativity or freedom? How does plotting a crime novels compare to other genres? Is there less room for pantsing?

And have you ever suffered from writer's block at the same time?
 
Novel writing. TV script consultancy. What are the skills differences for you as story-tellers?
Working with others on a script, as consultants requires different skills because we are not telling our own story... Usually, the scriptwriter has a story in mind... We may be asked to come up with story lines for that story - as in Happy Valley BUT the scriptwriter would be the person to decide in which direction the story would go...
 
Thinking about the creative process, what are the pros and cons of writing as a partnership rather than individually?
It's lovely to have someone else to bounce ideas off... to have support from... We love writing together, and we are both team players - which shows in our police/consultancy work. However, I guess we are very, very lucky to have worked with people so far who we get along with, and who are team players too, or I suppose it might not be the pleasure it has been so far...
 
Writing in a genre with such well-established rules, how do you go about injecting something surprising and unique into each book?
I try to find something I'm interested in... something that excites me. If I can achieve that I reckon that others will be interested too. On the police side Bob has no end of stories to tell of man's inhumanity to fellow man. Sadly. fact from which we draw our ideas is stranger than fiction, and so are some of the characters we met along the way...
 
From the Belgian Poirot, English Morse and Barnaby to the American Colombo, French Maigret and the Italian Montalbano- who is your favourite detective? In literature, the British seem to reign supreme when it comes to detectives, do you think this could be due to the high standards Scotland Yard is famed for? How about your own detective DI Jack Dylan, whose footsteps does he fit in, or has he made his own?
Jack Dylan is based, loosely on Bob - he's unique! :) But, our fav. detective has to be Jack Frost - David Jason played him so well & of course Morse - John Thaw would have made an excellent copper! ;)
 
A non-writing related question, but I'm super curious: Bob, I read you were a hostage negotiator. How does one become a hostage negotiator? (It sounds ever such a fascinating and rewarding job.)
The application requires one to be at least of Inspector rank in the police force, or it used to ... I think in certain circumstances a DS is accepted on the course at Hendon. The course is a two week, intense course in which the officer is put under pressure with 'incidents' happening both 'day' and 'night' with often little sleep in between. You do not go on this course without being selected by the county in which you serve as a police officer and neither do you pass this course for attendance - you are selected. At the time Bob was selected as a hostage negotiator nothing less than a 4* pass could negotiate terrorism. Bob did successfully pass to do all aspects of the role.
 
Have you learned to live with certain writerly habits that irritate you about each other? Or do you have occasional bickerthons about consistent misspellings/grammatical tics/stylistic idiosyncrasies etc.?

What about when you have disagreements about the way the current WIP is going? How do you tend to resolve them? Ever resorted to tossing a coin? :D
As you probably heard I infuriate Bob by changing the names of his characters in the second draft. I am the one who builds the characters and the scenes as well as writing the second storyline thread. :) Bob always writes has instead of as, and the reverse.
 
How much do you plot? Do you let the story unfold as you write? Or do you plot even the tiniest details in advance to make sure all the pieces of a crime fit together? And if so do you feel this hinders your creativity or freedom? How does plotting a crime novels compare to other genres? Is there less room for pantsing?

And have you ever suffered from writer's block at the same time?
Our first draft is totally police procedural so the plotting for the investigation is relatively straight forward, and never changes - it's how it is in real life. Is there less creativity or freedom? No, I don't think so as you can have as many threads running alongside the main storyline as you like - I always write at least one in the Dylan series - the detectives home life storyline. We try to humanise the detective - Dylan isn't a womaniser, a drinker, a heavy smoker - often detectives are stereotyped. Dylan is an ordinary family man.
 
Have you ever had to hold yourself back from telling a story with controversial implications because you were afraid that your readers either wouldn't understand it or they would misinterpret it?
No, not at all. We deal with sensitive material all the time - tell it how it is, but tell it without being judgemental. It's the same in police work...
 
Do you argue over plot twists? How do you settle those arguments? Who usually gives in?

No Tim, we don't argue. Bob has his job to do, and I have mine. Our roles in the writing process are very defined. If we need to discuss the way a story line is unfolding then we take the dog for a walk... usually by the time we have got back we know exactly where we're going. Anyway, I type up the final draft. ;)
 
The application requires one to be at least of Inspector rank in the police force, or it used to ... I think in certain circumstances a DS is accepted on the course at Hendon. The course is a two week, intense course in which the officer is put under pressure with 'incidents' happening both 'day' and 'night' with often little sleep in between. You do not go on this course without being selected by the county in which you serve as a police officer and neither do you pass this course for attendance - you are selected. At the time Bob was selected as a hostage negotiator nothing less than a 4* pass could negotiate terrorism. Bob did successfully pass to do all aspects of the role.
Wow!!! Thank you. I've often wondered. My highest respects to Bob! That's quite a journey.
 
Jack Dylan is based, loosely on Bob - he's unique! :) But, our fav. detective has to be Jack Frost - David Jason played him so well & of course Morse - John Thaw would have made an excellent copper! ;)
In effect David Jason looks a bit like Bob and of course, and I'm sure a detective reflects quite a bit of his creator. :cool:
 
No Tim, we don't argue. Bob has his job to do, and I have mine. Our roles in the writing process are very defined. If we need to discuss the way a story line is unfolding then we take the dog for a walk... usually by the time we have got back we know exactly where we're going. Anyway, I type up the final draft. ;)
Thanks for your reply. It sounds like you have a good writing relationship.
 
In effect David Jason looks a bit like Bob and of course, and I'm sure a detective reflects quite a bit of his creator. :cool:
David Jason's character was based on an officer Bob used to work with - the very early days of police consultants to TV detective series. Gerry was the image of him too. Hence I guess why we fell in love with the series because it truly was, at the time, as it was... :)
 
Thanks for your reply. It sounds like you have a good writing relationship.
We do Tim. I know we are lucky. So many people tell us they couldn't work with their spouses, but it seems to work for us. We have our own roles in our writing process, are used to being team players and neither of us are precious about work and most of all we respect each others point of view. ;)
 
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