Crime Fiction – Page 1, redraft

Yesterday I shared the first page of a crime novel I’m attempting to write one page at a time. And who know when or where this is going to happen, I just know I’m going to try.

Page 1 – The redraft

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 blue – black body. A woman, lying on her stomach, arms beside her sides, palms turned up. Her blond black head is turned towards the sea, tangled threaded with seaweed and sand. The sun beams down on her bare arse resembling a dark 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 flocking down to squark the find too. Then they circle, eyes piercing the sea, maybe looking for her missing feet.

The Commentary

Redrafting page one was a no brainier for me. I didn’t want to follow the stereotypes of crime fiction. The white female victim found alone in her flat or down a dark alley.

Yes I’ve kept some of the usual characteristics of the genre, the victim is female but Black. This is what I crave in crime fiction, Black characters, be them the detective, the victims, the society.

I found a few. Like I love Elouise Norton, the Black female detective series by Rachel Howzell Hall. And then the books by Attica Locke. But I’m craving me some Black British crime fiction. On my doorstep.

It seems natural to base the novel within my region and my space of familiarity the seaside as then I don’t have to go to any far flung place for research and authenticity. If I’m walking the coast, all is fodder for the one image at a time process. #onwards.

One thought on “Crime Fiction – Page 1, redraft

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