I am writing my first 'important to the plot' murder scene investigation, with victim in situ.  How much detail do you describe, would you write a couple of pages, a chapter or just a paragraph or two. I would appreciate any insight or do's and don'ts from my fellow Crimespacers. Thanks..

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Thanks Geraldine, I guess I don't really know exactly what category my book falls into. It has its humorous overtones; it is quite serious in parts and I describe my murder victims, and the way they die and their injuries quite graphically. I try and pepper it with dialogue and hopefully the descriptions push the story along rather than bog it down. I am particularly fortunate to have a family member in our police force, so that helps tremendously.
Whatever it takes to get the reader fully into the scene, you write. Give details. One of my first 'ah hah!' moments was reading Stephen King's 'Pet Semetary' when I was in my teens. I could smell the dead cat lying across the man's face, and I knew that it takes a good writer to affect the reader like that. As a writer, I want the reader to 'see' the gaping hole in the neck, hear the squishing of the maggots as they crawl out of one hole and into another. Can they smell the decay, feel what the detective feels when he comes upon the scene? If I haven't achieved that, then I still have work to do.

Go for it, Gaile. You can always tone it down later.

Best of luck to you.

Julie Dolcemaschio


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