Lesson 3 -Character

Stress in all its glory, but there is not much to the detective if you do not have interesting and credible people in the book. To create them, I think, is the most enjoyable part of deckarskrivan- it. Remember to populate your very own world of people.

There are a variety of ways to describe a person. For example, by age, occupation, appearance, odor, upholstery, interests, marital status, dialect, language expressions, tone of voice, posture, gestures, gait. To use all these at the same time, however, would be Cha-term. Take advantage rather than the preconceptions we have when we judge our fellow men. Three of four parts can be enough that the reader should be able to fill the gaps and create a picture of the person in your book. If, for example, writes that a man is a stamp collector makes the reader automatically a number of assumptions about how he is. But beware of simply creating stereotypes. Our biases can also be used to surprise the reader. In the example of frimärkssamlaren you could create a really hard-boiled cop who swears like a sailor and whips up the thugs on the assembly line – but in the comfort of your home, he is a passionate stamp collector.

To make the characters believable, natural and alive, you should think about how each person would react in different situations. Where then consistently when they act. A prerequisite for this is that you get to know the person. If it does not come by itself, which I often experience, sit down and when “interviewing” the person. Support and what questions you can ask to your character, you get the link for the exercises. You can certainly come up with their own questions that are relevant to your book.

1. Select a person in your vicinity. A friend, family member, colleague or similar. Try to describe the person without using adjectives (beautiful, old, pale). Instead, use the documents to give the reader a picture of the person you describe. “He took the heavy Agency and lifted it with ease” – the person is, in other words strong, but you have not had to use that word.

2. Describe a person who will soon be murdered. Enter the name, gender, age, nationality, voice height, hair color, eye color, weight, physical characteristics, posture, siblings, education, economy, religion, sexual orientation, favorite, favorite, favorite novel, marital status, work, children, housing, driver’s license, car brand, type of mood, small or large circle of acquaintances, habits, favorite place.

3. Enter a scene with the person just before the killer turns up. The murder concludes piece, but make sure the reader first get a good picture of the victim. Be sparing with too much detail describing the person, rather than try to “sneak” into the descriptions in the account of the last moments of his / her life. Unlike in the previous exercise, here take the help of adjectives, but use them with care and caution.
Note that you obviously will not get all the details you split about the person above. The part of the exercise is for you to get a clear picture of the person. Here, you select things that you think best conveys your image of the character to the reader.

Book recommendations
Göran Hägg: Writing, pp 80-85
Lars Åke Augustsson: to write novels and short stories, p 69-78, 103
Sue Grafton: Writing Mysteries, pp 49-55
Isobel Lambot: How to write crime novels, p 53-66