Monday, June 9, 2008

Research 101

Part of any good novel is believability. If the plot isn't believable, or the resolution isn't believable, the reader is going to walk away feeling cheated. So, how do we make our crimes believable? You guessed it...research.

I don't know a whole lot about police procedures, so when it comes to making sure my hero gets his facts straight, I call in the experts, namely a friendly police sergeant from Beaumont. Other resources include books, articles and websites. Word of caution: TV shows like CSI don't count, because believe it or not, you really can't rely on them for accuracy.

What about you? Care to share a few of your favorite research tips? Here a few of my favorites to get you started:


Deadly Doses, A Writer's Guide to Poisons
The Writer's Complete Crime Reference Book by Martin Roth



Mary Connealy said...

great list, Ellizabeth. I need to keep track of it. Thanks.
Where do I do research? Almost exclusively online, although I belonged to a yahoo group run by a former coronor or pathologist or something and used it a bit when I was starting the cozies.
'If a corpse is shot immediately after the person died, would it bleed at all.'

How much anti-freeze would it take to kill a man. Would it make him woozy, sick, achy, for how long.

I kept expecting someone to track down my identity, phone the house, ask for Ivan (my husband) and tell him to RUN FOR HIS LIFE.

Writing is a strange business isn't it.

Ausjenny said...

Hi Elizabeth, I know this is more a writers site but I do enjoy reading the blogs and finding out how books come to being. Im reading a cozy mystery at present (I have a few days off from reading review books so hope to read 3 by Sunday)

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

I know, Mary!! One of these days, I just know the FBI is going to be standing on my doorstep.

"Excuse me, ma'am. Are you Elizabeth Ludwig?"

"Elizabeth Ludwig doesn't live her. She flew away."


Ausjenny said...

oh thats funny Mary and Elizabeth.
you know as a reader im learning interesting ways to not do things!
about to start a suspicion of Strawberries (not that i ever doubted they were evil!)

Ausjenny said...

Im beginning to think the weapon of choice is a poker! im making sure ours dont go missing!
Im really loving this series and now learning how evil strawberries are (although i aways knew this)