Have you ever heard that the truth is stranger than fiction? That is often the case. We can’t even use some of the best true crime cases to model our fiction stories after. Why? No one would believe things happened that way.
However, there are facts behind the fiction we write. When we talk about guns and shooting them, we need to be accurate. Because readers, at least some of them, know how these things work. We must also be careful with things like how people die, what they look like, and how we find the clues and solve the mysteries we create.
Did you ever wonder about some of the research, and why your favorite thriller and mystery author is being watched by the government? This blog will explore some of those themes and ideas.
The Police and Law Enforcement
Even though sometimes it might not seem like it in real life or on TV dramas, the police and law enforcement officers have rules they need to follow. Most of the time, they do follow those rules. The exceptions are rare. Those exceptions make TV and fiction fun to read, but they are not really consistent with how the real world works.
That is why we, as authors, are careful about what we put in our books and what we say. We want to respect those who protect us, and we want you to understand that they are people just like you and me. Most of them are honest and good at what they do. Like any other profession, there are bad examples though.
For the sake of fiction, we often process evidence quickly. But it doesn’t happen that way in real life. Most smaller cities do not have a forensics department and often have to wait for help. DNA labs are extremely busy and backed up, and if the person’s DNA is not on file, police have to wait until they can match it to a potential suspect. To do that, they need enough evidence for a warrant to collect it.
It’s all rather challenging, and now juries, thanks to fiction, expect this kind of concrete evidence in most cases. It is problematic for both police and attorneys. When we try to be more realistic in fiction, it often makes our books seem slow or dull. So we have to bend the rules just a little.
We’ll talk more about this stuff in upcoming posts, at least once a week, where we deal with the reality behind fiction.
Murder, Serial Killers, and More
Crime is rare, kinda. And violent crime even more so. But many murders every year go unsolved. Want to know why? There are actually a whole host of reasons, and soon we will talk about some of them here, some related to today’s headlines, others related to cases in the past. You won’t believe some of what you will read.
Want to Contribute?
Want to be part of the discussion and share your knowledge in this area? Contact us at [email protected]. We can talk about your story, and even get you published here. For authors and others, this is a great opportunity to promote your books and reach a new audience.
Watch this space. Subscribe to our newsletter. We will be in touch!
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.