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Thread: having trouble with my story

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW doomwdfortune's Avatar
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    having trouble with my story

    what i wanted to do is have my story start 1 year after my detective catches a serial killer. this past case is meant to be part of her back story and something shes still recovering from. the problem is the main mystery is completely unrelated to her previous and I'm worried people will feel like the missed a previous book.
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  2. #2
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Start earlier.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW doomwdfortune's Avatar
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    the idea i had for the main story thought was that she was working another serial case if i start earlier like 5 or 6 months after. would it be believable for their to be another serial killer
    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.
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  4. #4
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Depends on the environment. A city full of crime would have several serial killers active at the same time. You don't hear everything going on in a city from the news.
    Don't Fear Failure.

    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

    "The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW doomwdfortune's Avatar
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    not sure id say Boston is any more crime ridden then any other big city
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  6. #6
    Ustom Ser Itle Dgullen's Avatar
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    Hi, my first thought is if the earlier case is unrelated to the story why refer to it explicitly? It sounds like it's the aftermath of the case that's the thing you're interested in rather than the particular case, so you could have her on sabatical/shore leave, putting her life back together and getting pulled back in with minimal explanation - the readers will fill in the details for you.
    Maybe you just need to tunnel down a bit and find out what exactly it is your interested in about her current emotional/physical/life state as a precursor to this story.

    I don't think tw serial killers close together is unworkable. IMHO, an 'Oh my God there's two of them' moment could work well at the start or the end of a story.

  7. #7
    Looking at new horizons. GailD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgullen View Post
    I don't think tw serial killers close together is unworkable. IMHO, an 'Oh my God there's two of them' moment could work well at the start or the end of a story.
    I agree. I watched a documentary last night about two serial killers operating at the same time, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One was caught several months after the other.

    And how big a city is Baton Rouge?


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by doomwdfortune View Post
    the idea i had for the main story thought was that she was working another serial case if i start earlier like 5 or 6 months after. would it be believable for their to be another serial killer
    You don't get everything from the news. The F.B.I. estimate tat the U.S. alone has from thirty-five to fifty active serial killers at any given time. So, yes, it would be believable.

  9. #9
    Caped Codder jaksen's Avatar
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    I'd find it interesting - a detective still recovering from what she learned catching the first serial killer? She'd obviously think back now and then - small flashbacks, nothing too heavy or info-dumpy - would give readers insight to her methods, her mindset, and tantalize them with pieces of the first one she caught.

    I'd go with it. I think it's a great idea.
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  10. #10
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    If it's only a year since your MC arrested the last serial killer, it wouldn't be unusual for that case to finally be coming to trial. Court scheduling is fraught with delays (pre-trial motions, court ordered psych evaluations, etc.). As the lead investigator/arresting officer, she has to testify at the trial; that gives you ample opportunity to weave some pertinent exposition into your tale.


    GailD - Baton Rouge is considered a small-to-medium size city of about 80 sq miles (approx 800,00 pop in the metropolitan area).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_Rouge,_Louisiana
    Last edited by ironmikezero; 11-25-2012 at 12:14 AM.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW doomwdfortune's Avatar
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    that's something i never thought of thank you for the idea ironmikezero
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  12. #12
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doomwdfortune View Post
    what i wanted to do is have my story start 1 year after my detective catches a serial killer. this past case is meant to be part of her back story and something shes still recovering from. the problem is the main mystery is completely unrelated to her previous and I'm worried people will feel like the missed a previous book.
    If her current case is completely unrelated to the previous case, what is the significance of putting it in your story?

    the idea i had for the main story thought was that she was working another serial case if i start earlier like 5 or 6 months after. would it be believable for their to be another serial killer
    Sure there would. But, it needs to be tied in with the current story.

    I am not sure I'm completely following you, but I'll give it a try. I think there has to be some kind of a connection between the two serial killers, and the MC investigating serial killers is not enough. Maybe the most current serial killer is a copy cat, or even an apprentice, if you will, of the current serial killer.
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  13. #13
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    Watch season one of Luther (BBC, staring Idris Elba). He's a detective and the season opens (and deals with) with him still sorting through the repercussions of his last big case.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW doomwdfortune's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Susan Littlefield;7765747]If her current case is completely unrelated to the previous case, what is the significance of putting it in your story?


    it was mostly suppose to be her back story, to show who she is and how she got their. and maybe set up a future story
    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.
    -- George Carlin
    i love bullies they have such big, shiny red buttons to push

  15. #15
    pretending to be awake onesecondglance's Avatar
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    I see absolutely nothing wrong with your character's backstory not being related to their current case. Just go ahead and write it.
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  16. #16
    possibly lost; not sure yet lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onesecondglance View Post
    I see absolutely nothing wrong with your character's backstory not being related to their current case. Just go ahead and write it.
    Yes, this.

    You really don't know how it's going to go until you start getting it down (well, at least I never do!). You may find it works beautifully. You may find it mostly works, and needs some reworking after it's drafted. You may find you can't make it work at all, and you want to start over with something else.

    The act of writing it is worthwhile, no matter where you start.
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