Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

Posts Tagged ‘detective’

Still writing!

Posted by Andrew Girle on January 6, 2013

My apologies – I have not posted on here since my dismal failure at Not-No-Wri-Mo.
I was stuck at the car dealership on Wednesday, waiting for the diagnosis of a ‘funny squeak’ in my 6 month old car, so I used the five hours to stamp out 1200 words in the Fireballs’n’45’s storyline.

And came up with an idea for a t-shirt… line drawing of a fedora pulled low over a canine muzzle, with the caption “Pitt, Detective. When it’s time to see a dog about a man.”


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NaNoWriMo approacheth

Posted by Andrew Girle on October 31, 2012

I’m not signed up for NaNoWriMo, but I’m going to do my best to churn 50K words out.

Starting in eight hours.

Bedtime, here I come!

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I hate mobile phones

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 15, 2012

At least, mobiles (@Cellphones in the USofA) and what they have done to tension in crime fiction.

Our hero is stumped, she cannot connect that last piece of the puzzle, and if she doesn’t work it out in the next five minutes, the villain will escape.

Problem? Of course not. Phone a bloody friend. Arrange backup, sort out a roadblock, check with the forensic experts, whatever.

That is how it works in the real world, folks.

But the whole idea of thrillers is the THRILL, and that comes from tension. And real tension takes time to develop, it has to fester and bubble and rise like bile in the back of your throat until it stops you thinking about anything but turning the page and when you finally do you realise you haven’t been drawing breath and the resolution lets you BREATHE …

And mobile phones destroy that.


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Magic systems, built from scratch

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 6, 2012

I have hit a stumbling block: I don’t want to have a magic with wands instead of guns (there goes most peoples ideas of magic!); nor do I want to have an Earthsea magic so incomprehensible that readers need to be stoned to follow it.

I want magic that is possible enough to our understanding of the world; that stretches the imagination without dulling it.

One of my background notes for ‘Grimnoires and Gumshoes’ refers to natural magic – the patterns in a stripes of a tiger (or zebra!) create confusion in the beholder, so that bright yellow animals are effectively invisible in a dull green jungle. Where belief in the power of an object can be sufficient to imbue it with that effect – so a horse shoe over a door can ward evil, by virtue of hundreds if not thousands of years of belief.

But DAMN, fireballs are sexy.

Even just writing that has given me an idea for working ‘explosive magic’ into my world of natural magic; in the same way that rapid exothermic reactions are part of nature (explosions, for the unscientific reader). Maybe the magician merely needs enough sex appeal.

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Of editing and other things

Posted by Andrew Girle on January 30, 2012

I’m currently on holidays from my day job. I had planned to use the time productively and write copiously; of course this has not happened.

I am applying the edits of No Working Title that have been provided to me, and am character building for the Grimnoires and Gumshoes mashup. I keep getting this vision of an Elf trying to hire my gumshoe to track down some guy called Tolkein, but things keep getting in the way.

I know, too cliched, but still!

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Private Eyes, Leggy Dames, Fireballs and Jazz

Posted by Andrew Girle on September 20, 2011

In between scribbling notes on my current ‘main project’ I have been doing some world building based in the Fantasy Noir genre – think “The Maltese Falcon meets Gandalf”. Or the magnificent works of Jim Butcher.

And the tagline “Private eyes, leggy dames, fireballs and Jazz” seems to sum it up. Oh, and con men, crooked politicians and tommy guns.


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Genre mashup

Posted by Andrew Girle on October 18, 2010

I can’t draw to save myself. I have subsequently discovered the sketch conversion capability in photoshop and similar programs, which is pretty handy as it means I can turn a digital photo into a ‘sketch’.

How is this relevant to writing, I hear you ask?

Well, if I want to drop little illustrations into my stories, now I can. Likewise, if I want to do a trailer but use my own imagery rather than risking copyright infringement, now I can.

Last but not least, I have an idea for a short story (yes, that bloody butterfly has fluttered past again) that may just need to mash up crime genre, graphic novel and haiku.

*sigh* someone pass me the bug spray will they?

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Some randym thoughts

Posted by Andrew Girle on October 13, 2010

Up until now Vampires (vampyres, blood sucking broody types etc etc) seem to have been the flavour of the month (well, last decade or more actually!). From a writing point of view, that tells me they are poison to try and copy or write as a genre, because there is just SO MUCH out there. And then I wandered over to one of my subscriptions here and find that Fallen Angels are the next big thing.


Except… what is the difference between a Vampire and a Fallen Angel? Biblically, not much. In YA – apparently fallen angels are good guys who did something wrong and lost their wings (like a grounded pilot?). But Vampires in the recent years were all ‘bad guys trying to repent’ which approaching the same moody angst thing from the other side.


So what does that revelation mean to me? My next detective character is not going to be a vampire. Or a skeleton. Might be a werewolf (because of all the lame jokes I can write in).

/stream of consciousness off.


Be good!

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Does a continuing character need a continuing nemesis?

Posted by Andrew Girle on September 28, 2010

Holmes had Moriarty. Kay Scarpetta had Temple Gault. All through crime fiction our favourite continuing characters have continuing nemeses.

But do they have to have them? Cannot our gumshoes walk the mean streets and face enough danger without acquiring some kind of fantastic super-enemy? Characters should be human, and humans don’t acquire enduring enemies – cartoon heroes do.

Or am I wrong?

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Story lines

Posted by Andrew Girle on September 22, 2010

I haven’t written in a few weeks, and my brain has started to swell with the fizz and pop with ideas trying to let themselves out. Character names that say everything about the character (a couple of private eyes with the names Felix Black and Sam Pennyquick…. just imagine them in a tense scene!) and one liners that just zing.

All these are going into my ideas file, because I currently have four separarate story lines on the juggle and I don’t want to be distracted by that damn butterfly again.

Ohhh look there it goes again…. quick, someone get my net.

Or maybe not.

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