Monday, 13 June 2016

Things I've Learnt From Watching Crime shows like Snapped and Psychic Detectives

Like a lot of people I binge watch TV crime programmes with the names like Deadly Intentions, Psychic Detectives and Snapped: Women Who Kill.

I like the fact that in the majority of cases the victims get justice.

And it never ceases to amaze me how the truth is stranger that fiction. I mean if I were to write about some of these life crimes in one of my books, people would say they were too far fetched.

I've also learnt a few things -

If you don't want your partner to murder you, don't get a life insurance policy. If you must get one DO NOT make them the beneficiary.

Does your husband hunt? Have a gun collection? Be wary, one day you could be their prey. If they know how to gut an animal, gutting you won't be a problem.

Just because your husband or wife are churchgoers/Sunday school teachers doesn't mean they won't cheat on you or even try to kill you.

If you suspect your partner is going to kill you, they probably are. Trust your initiative.

If you suspect your partner is going to kill you, report your suspicions to the police. At least then when he does kill you the police will know who to question.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

What The Walking Dead taught me about writing

Dumb decisions brought Rick and the gang to this point.

Most of the second half of Season 6 of The Walking Dead didn't make sense.

Most of the characters we know and love acted like they'd lost their minds.

Okay, I've said it. 

And I'm not alone in thinking it. 

The Walking Dead made us feel like this.

The last few episodes leading up the Walking Dead season 6 finale had a lot of people screaming at their TV screens. The reason - the characters that viewers know (probably as well as most family members) and love started acting out of character.

Rick kills Primo thinking he's Negan. 

Take Rick Grimes. He goes after Negan's gang not even knowing who exactly they are, what Negan looks like and whether his group will be outnumbered and outgunned. 

Does that make any sense for such a shrewd leader? No way, Jose.

Then there's our beloved Daryl Dixon. With the big bogey man coming in the shape of comic villain Negan (did Rick Grimes really think the red shirt he killed so easily in a previous episode was dictator Negan - I doubt it), Daryl Dixon decided to go after Savior Dwight who killed Dr Denise with an arrow to the head. Daryl believed he'd caused her death by not killing Dwight when he had the chance. 

Daryl Dixon gets caught too easily. Like that should happen!

If Daryl Dixon had gone after his zombie apocalypse soulmate, Carol, that'd have made sense. But getting justice for Denise, I just don't see it.

Rick and Daryl weren't the only ones behaving out of character.

When a psycho is coming, you need Carol. 

Carol, the mother of the group, decides to leave Tobin a Dear John letter and quit Alexandria. Bully Negan's heading their way, but hey she can't kill for anyone any more. Even though she's pretty good at it.

Abraham doesn't tell Rick his plan to take out the saviors is dumb.

Soldier Abraham doesn't even suggest they do some fact-finding on Negan and his band of thieves before they kill some of his cohorts whilst they're sleeping. There's no due diligence like, "Hey, Rick shouldn't we check the guy you're about to kill genuinely is the Big, Bad Wolf?"

But, no the story isn't being dictated by Rick, Daryl, Carol and Abraham. What Rick and Co do is being dictated by the story. The writers are using them like pawns on a chessboard.

Annoying isn't it when characters are manipulated like that, and unsatisfying. 

And that's why so many fans like me are angry with The Walking Dead - we know these characters and how they'll react and its not how they've been acting on the show. 

Rick would find out everything he could about Negan before he went after him.

Daryl wouldn't go and get himself and a lot of his friends taken.

Carol would kill again - even if it was one last time.

Abraham would say to Rick, "We need to do this right."

Michonne getting caught? No way. 

No matter what you're writing, your characters have to act in a believable way. Rick, Daryl, Carol and Abraham haven't been doing that.

Their characters have been messed with to make the story go a certain way and that leaves viewers disappointed.

As a writer, you don't want your readers to feel the same way. They'd be perfectly entitled to throw your book across the room.

Characters must be consistent and if they change, there must be a very good reason for it.

Good storytelling has to make some sense, or your readers will be left disappointed.