|IWSG Blog Hop|
What is IWSG? Founder of the Insecure Writers Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.
The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month, The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
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No joking around, today my writing insecurity is police procedure. I write mysteries, but I have no experience in law enforcement, so I have to depend on my own "investigation" into how a crime is committed and how police actually gather evidence, find suspects, and how they handle the aspects of bringing a criminal to justice.
I am insecure about my lack of knowledge in this department because in Coda to Murder a reviewer called me out on getting a procedure wrong--notifying the family of the murder of their loved one. I know it is a book of fiction, but when readers see a fact or procedure is incorrect, it colors their perception of the whole story.
In writing my first two mysteries, I relied on my neighbor who is a city policeman and the Crime Scene Writer Group. (My neighbor did not get the procedure wrong. I didn't even ask him about the procedure.) Now well into my third mystery, I realize I am lacking in information on the witness protection program and drug trafficking.
Where do you find resources for getting the police investigations and procedures correct? Please leave a comment below. Thanks so much.
Sorry, but I have no experience of researching police procedures but I can see how important it is to get things right.In the UK I have seen sections devoted to this in a writing magazine. Are there any similar publications you could access for advice or links? Best of luck, I hope another visitor might be able to provide further help for you.
Suzanne (IWSG co-host)
Thanks, Suzanne. Yes, there are writing magazines and of course there's always the Internet. Yay for Google! Thanks for stopping in.
I found this book "Howdunit Forensics" by DP Lyle. I'm not through it but it is an eye opener. And I think some agencies (FBI, CIA, etc.) have PR pages for kids. They keep it simple.
After all, we only want a simple answer to keep it honest.
The other thing is, Stephen King said something about trying to get the facts right is great, but we are human and humans can't think of every question that may need an answer. :-)
Anna from Elements of Writing
Thanks for the tips, Anna. Bless Stephen King!
Do you know any policemen or investigators you could interview for answers?
@Diane--just my neighbor who is a city policemen, soon retiring. I guess I could screw up my courage and go to the police dept and see if I could get some answers. Thanks for stopping in. You made me think more about taking this kind of action.
I bought 2 hardback reference books and don't think I'll ever use them: The writer's Complete Crime Reference Book by Martin Roth, and Cracking Cases, the science of solving crimes by Dr. Henry C Lee. If you send me enough postage, they're yours. Should be under $10 by media mail. But you might find crime reference ebooks cheaper.
Authentic research is hard to do. I go online for most of mine but it is not always up to date. I like watching true police series also.
Thanks, Sher. That is thoughtful of you to offer the books. I'm reading Kindle books nowadays, so I'll check them out on amazon.
Hi Dolorah. I used to watch CSI until it got so gory. I was talking to an OR nurse about Grey's Anatomy. She says their operating procedures are so wrong. So I wonder how accurate police stories on TV are! LOL...Thanks for stopping in.
Authentic research is not easy. For the story I have started plotting, I need quite a bit of police research. Don't know how I am going to go about it.
Research can be so hard to get right...and having a reader notice something wrong is a worry of mine too. Wish I could help!
Janet, I'm visiting from Janet Reid's blog. Just wanted to say, "Hi!"
Rachna, I guess all we can do is try to find the correct procedures and do out best to get it right.
Hi T, thanks for stopping over. Appreciate your support.
Hi Lily Faye, thanks for stopping in!
Hopping over from the Reef. Good luck reserching, no idea on this one.
Thanks, Angie, for hopping over and offering good wishes.
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