Well, this whole crime fiction writing is a bit tough. Not that other genres of writing are easy, it’s just difficult to get so many things write in crime fiction. The police procedural aspect must be accurate. The interactions between cops must be realistic. The case they’re investigating has to be intriguing and include complex details and some type of twist or break in the case that the reader doesn’t see coming, which in effect means that I must not see it coming until it pops into my head one day and therefore, becomes an integral part of the story. The character development has to be convincing and real but not cliché as there have been too many crime fiction stories with the burnt-out alcoholic cop trying to solve one last big case to make up for the one he fucked up years ago before he rides off into the sunset having redeemed himself. They’re cliché because they’re commonly used, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. You’d just better find an interesting story line to make your story different from every other detective story like it.
Burn Out I think turned out pretty good. It was intended to be a single short story and I’ve considered making it into a series of short stories using Detectives Carmine and Bekowsky as the main characters. I’m working on a follow up to Burn Out but I’m having trouble getting the story off the ground. I don’t know what case is coming at them! I don’t know what to have them investigate. If I made a lengthy story about a financial crime or identity theft case, unless it included murder or some other twist, I’d probably fall asleep before I got halfway through the damn thing. Almost every detective story must include murder, or someone being majorly hurt. Otherwise, you could do stories of the responding officers and beat cops working a scene and then you don’t have to do the major investigation. You simply handle the scene, have them write up a case report, and move on to the next call.
We’ll see though, because I want to write more stories for The Hill, and I want to include some more cases with Bekowsky and Carmine, but I also want to cover beat officers responding to and handling calls. I love shows like Southland and The Wirethat cover both the street patrol side and the investigations’ side. They give you a best of both worlds in that you get the action of getting the initial call followed by the calculated cat-and-mouse game of the investigation. Now, since I’m currently writing the next story following Burn Out, I need to figure out what case the detectives are going to investigate!