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Old 11-24-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
doomwdfortune
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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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Old 11-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Start earlier.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
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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
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
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not sure id say Boston is any more crime ridden then any other big city
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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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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Old 11-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #8
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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
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.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:28 PM   #9
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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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Old 11-24-2012, 11:07 PM   #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

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Old 11-24-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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that's something i never thought of thank you for the idea ironmikezero
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:43 AM   #12
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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?

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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
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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Old 11-26-2012, 07:34 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:54 AM   #14
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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
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #15
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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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Old 11-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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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.
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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