Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finding the Right Detective

The Cotton Patch would like to welcome author Robert Downs as he shares this guest post with us.

While characters are created every day, by authors known and unknown, fresh voices are getting harder and harder to come by. Often, it’s a simple twist, like a non-smoker with a trust fund in a world where all the hard-boiled detectives are smokers, loners, and relatively broke.

As readers we want to see unique, but we don’t know what’s unique until we read it. However, if you go too far into the unknown with a voice that’s more troubled than pure, you run the risk of turning your reader off. Does that mean you shouldn’t take risk?
Absolutely not. However, you do need to be careful and focus on the only commandment that matters: good writing. What it really boils down to, though, is trusting your instincts and reaching. It’s much easier to follow the path more frequently traveled. But that’s not always the best path to take. The path with more resistance is for the strong and pure of heart. It’s a path that could end in tragedy just as easily as it could end happily. The best stories I’ve read, though, have taken a new approach to an old angle, or they’ve charted entirely new waters.

Men want to read about men, just as women want to read about women, if only for the entertainment value. When you write, it’s either to entertain or inform. You can certainly attempt to do both at the same time, but you might end up with a mixed message in the end. And your detective might have trouble deciding which way he’s supposed to go.

If you didn’t already know it, MANfiction is all about the detective. He doesn’t need to be big and strong, but he does need to be all male. He needs to take a leap of faith, as both the reader and the author come together in a moment filled with multiple muzzle flashes.

Detectives may be all around us, especially in the mystery world. But unique detectives are getting harder and harder to come by. In order to find the best one for you, whether you’re a reader or a writer, you need to search within yourself and pull out a multitude qualities, all of which will make for a better story, as well as a good MANfiction read.

Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main character, can be located at his website.

Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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