Sunday, January 4, 2009

SUNDAY SALON: Six things I want in my fiction

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise kicked it off. Barbara's Scandanavian Crime Fiction picked up the ball and ran with it. The challenge was also taken up by Uriah's Crime Scraps

What six things do I want in my crime fiction? (this could apply to any other type of fiction).

Here are mine.

1. No Femjep. You know the type of thing. Our heroine (usually amateur) has been threatened. She hears a noise coming from the basement. The electricity has been turned off, so she totters downstairs in her short, tight skirt and stilletos without either a weapon or a flashlight and gets donged on the head ... Oh pulease.

2. A mystery where the clues aren't bleeding obvious to everyone but the investigator.

3. Authors who know less is often more. Peter Temple is a prime example of saying a great deal with a few words.

4. Authors who are happy to be crime writers and don't have pretensions to be "literary" at the expense of this little thing we crime readers like which is called a plot.

5. Characters that I can become engaged with. I'm not a huge fan of the short "puzzle mystery" where the characters are merely the vehicle to deliver that puzzle. I like to get to know my characters.

6. A story that keeps me guessing. I hate working out very early on whodunit and then spending the rest of the book waiting for the protagonist to catch up with me. I love twists in the tale at the end as well.

So there are my six . What are yours?


judithb said...

I love this list! Like your blog, Sunnie. I think I just might have a go at setting one up too. Now that Fran has introduced me to the world of Facebook, who knows where it will end!

Sunnie Gill said...

It's easy peasy, Judith. And fun too.

Bernadette said...

I agree with most of yours Sunnie. My most annoying thing is the way police are portrayed collectively as either incompetent redneck morons (usually in thrillers where an average bloke has got caught up in something nasty) or superhuman heroes who can do no wrong (usually in procedurals that are told from the coppers' perspective). Both of these annoy me equally. I like there to be a sense of reality about the people doing the investigating.

Sunnie Gill said...

HEAR, HEAR, to those comments Bernadette. They annoy me too.

Uriah Robinson said...

I agree Sunnie if the blurb says that a book is 'literary crime fiction' I know I am going to be throwing it round the room after 50 pages.

Sunnie Gill said...

LOL. Mark Billingham has strong opinions about "literary" vs crime fiction. Very entertaining on the subject he is..

rhubarbwhine said...

great 6, Sunnie. I'll have to have a think. My demands alter depending on my time available and how full on my life is, too.