Hello everyone, I'm Elliot and I'm new here. A few months ago I embarked on writing a crime novel, I believed I knew a decent amount about crime to be able to write it. I have read a few crime books, both fictional and true crime, and watched a lot of shows that deal with investigations into crimes - such as CSI and Criminal Minds. Long story short, I began writing and quickly found I had difficulty writing it as I didn't know police procedure well enough and had no idea how to guide my story to its end.
I sort of gave up on that story, but recently I've been getting back into it. I'd love to share it with you guys and see if you can help me.
Also sorry if this is the wrong place to post this!
You will need to do the research. There are some good books on police procedure, and there is the Internet. In general, reading "a few" books is probably not enough. You need to read voraciously in your genre.
As usual, IJ has hit the nail on the head. If you're looking to write procedurals, the cops' attitudes and personalities are going to be key. There are no better places to start than with Connie Fletcher's series (especially Pure Cop and What Cops Know) and David Simon's Homicide. All three are somewhat dated now as far as procedures go (about 20 years old), but if you want insights into how cops think and work, they're the gold standard. (I've had this confirmed by several cops, so this isn't just a raw plug.)
Have fun and good luck!
Seconding David Simon's Homicide. Last spring I was under contract to write a police procedural, and it was fabulously helpful.
Another writer also gave me a tip for the broad outline of a police procedural. She said in every chapter, as the characters are investigating a question, not only do they NOT find the answer to that question, but the chapter raises new ones.
If you think about it, that's exactly the formula followed by all investigative shows. So simple, and so brilliant!
Welcome to Crimespace, Elliot.
I'd suggest you do some research into the areas of police procedure you feel you're lacking. A good start would be Lee Lofland's book http://www.amazon.com/Howdunit-Police-Procedure-Investigation-ebook...
Good luck with your writing.
Lee Lofland should be very good. He's a cop. And he answers questions.
Thanks everyone, I will check out those books :)
Hope you enjoy it here!