There are tons of genres you could have contributed your talents. For some reason, you ended up writing crime fiction. Not fantasy. Not techno-thriller. Not cyberpunk. You wound up writing/reading crime fiction. What was the trigger? Why do you write what you write?

For me, it was a fascination with the raw intensity committing a crime brought. As a crime reporter, my favorite stories were the atrocities everyday people committed. The forces that transformed a benign person into a criminal peaked my interest. That transformation makes for a terrific backdrop for a novel, one that drew me to explore. The fact it could happen to me or someone I know makes it all the more dangerous and appealing.

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I read all the genres. If it is in print and in front of me I read it. LOL. Why write crime fiction? I write in more than one genre as well. I enjoy crime fiction. Why?

When I was 12, I was hit with a one-two punch. I found my dad when he hung himself and my eyes were opened about the church. Disgusted with the rules I was taught, I went on a trial basis, tested each rule and analysed the results. Multiple times. That included a wide variety of crimes. I infiltrated groups I would not have normally wanted to be part see what made them tick (local gangs and large Motorcycle gangs (Hell's Angels)). I learned a lot from first hand experience. I also learned the police were not the gods they were made out to be. Sitting in interrogation rooms, at detectives desks, in local lock-ups...I was left with an unsecured weapon, which I hid in the detective's draw (he paniced). I nabbed dozens of counterfeit bills in another detective's draw. I locked one detective in his own interrogation room. I unlocked the local holding cell door so many times, they left it open and never figured out how I did it. By the way, my set of rules built from experience does parallel the accepted set of rules. I do believe Moses dropped and broke a couple tablets and that is why we only have ten commandments.
Entirely possible: an old man staggering down the mountain with four large slabs of stone? He may have dropped them on purpose.

And you sound like a little trickster. There is bound to be a book in that.
I actually started writing mysteries before I really read them. Somehow, for whatever reason, mysteries were much easier for me to plot. I think it was the structure in that, you have a crime, and at the end it's solved. Insta-plot! At least for me, it was easier. I'd never successfully developed a conflict and plotted it before I started writing mysteries.

Then, because I was enjoying the genre, I started reading it. When I read Raymond Chandler, I knew I'd found my place in the writing world.

I love exploring everyday evils... the things that people do short of murder. It's interesting to me to go through the reasons why a person would commit a crime. I'm so hopelessly square, it's actually amusing. So I write about everyday people committing everyday evils. Sometimes it gets out of hand, but usually it's just people being cruel to each other in ways that don't culminate in murder.
I like that, Clair. I think mystery writers sometimes get too hung up on having a murder in the story. The threat of danger or other sever consequence should be enough to carry a story. It will probaboly take a little more work to pull it off, but I see no reason why every mystery needs to be a murder.
So true, some of the most popular mystery stories revlove around the theft of a pet or the ambitious scoundrel attempting to take over the family firm.
I like murder myself. Can't get too excited about missing kitties or family squabbles. They happen every day and leave few lasting marks.
I'm in I.J.'s camp on this one. Adding murder to the plot is like putting butter on anything. It instantly makes it better.

That isn't to say a murder on every fourth page is necessary. Too much butter and I'll stop eating. The perfectly buttered plot will reel me in every time.
See, I just look at it differently. To me the fun is the investigation. Doesn't matter so much what's investigated. (And when I write, I just don't see that most people would resort to murder.)

But, like all things, people have different tastes. Some people even eat coconut.
What's bad about coconut? If you've eaten movie theater popcorn, you've probably eaten coconut. The oil the kernels are popped in is usually coconut. I worked as a projectionist for a couple years. I ate the stuff almost every day. I'm still trying to get the taste out of my mouth.
OK, I'm new here, and this seems like a good topic to jump in on...

I like the puzzle aspect of mystery/crime stories, both from a reading and writing point of view. There's something deeply gratifying, to me, about watching pieces of seemingly random information arrange themselves into a logical sequence. I think it has something to do with the way the human mind works -- that almost cellular need we have to make patterns out of randomness.

Now, having said that, I'm an architect (my 'day job') and a chess addict, so I may be more bent this way than other people.

Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Cheers -- MK
Welcome, Minerva.
When you read the story in Exodus, you'll see that the tablets were indeed broken - smashed by Moses himself in anger when he came upon his people worshipping the golden calf. They were replaced shortly afterwards by the same set of laws on new tablets (so much for the idea that some tablets were dropped - the textual evidence doesn't support such a theory), and these were stored in the Ark (that Indiana Jones later made famous again). The Exodus narrative, by the way, is wonderfully constructed and offers good lessons about character development and suspense-building for writers.

As long as we're on the subject of Moses and the Law, this is another reason we write crime fiction - to explore the meaning of justice in an unjust society (supposedly governed by laws),to be assured that somehow the balances will be restored at the end.


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