Writing Crime Fiction – one page at a time

I think from the time of my MA in Creative Writing, 2003 at Northumbria University, I’ve had the dream to write a crime novel.

Reading crime fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine from being young. They scare me and thrill me at the same time. I don’t try to guess who’s the killer or kidnapper or criminal. I’m just there in the thick of it; engrossed.

There has been times through the years, where I’ve said, this is the time, I’m going to write the crime novel. Start the reading and taking notes, fleshing out the story. Only to get a few weeks down the line and my patience has worn thin. I’ve lost the spark. I’m hit with the massive FEAR of failing.

It’s like a don’t give myself the time and space to crash and burn. That I jump to the end and make it all crap and useless, only after writing a few pages. That it’s okay to fail as nothing is perfect, super deluxe on the first pass.

But I think I’ve come up with an idea. What if I trick myself into thinking all I’m doing is writing a page. Not a whole crime novel, just a page. How would that work out for me?

Page 1

The beach is empty. The sky cloudless, grey moving to blue with the sun being up for over an hour. The usual dog walkers are out marking the sand with prints and shit. Some clean up after their dogs like good citizens. While others never look back.

Littered with glossy seaweed and feathers, as if a bird battle has gone down, the beach is flanked by a rotting pier. Or wooden construction used in the past to mark out bays within the sea for long forgotten trade. Now just an eye sore and gathering point for the bored youth trapped in this seaside resort.

But down there within the shadows and the shallows is one naked white body. A woman, lying on her stomach, arms beside her sides, palms turned up. Her blond head is turned towards the sea, tangled with seaweed and sand. The sun beams down on her bare arse resembling a conch. Her swollen face reveals gaping blue lips around cracked teeth.

It’s a chocolate lab sniffing out crabs around the pier who finds her body. Barking to its owner to come see, gulls flock down to squark the find too. Then they circle, eyes piercing the sea, maybe looking for her missing feet.

Redraft with commentary coming tomorrow!

One thought on “Writing Crime Fiction – one page at a time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.