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  1. #11
    antonio smith

    Re: "Description" in Mystery Writing

    Wow -- good stuff! Thanks to all for the reading recommendations. Looks like I'll be busy for a while. ;-)

    << The forward dynamic, the unfolding of plot, is critical, but not sufficient, for a good read. Plot progression is comparable to say, a car's engine, gas/brakes, steering. But environmental factors make the ride pleasant--suspension, comfy seats, leg room, heating and air conditioning, acoustic insulation, sound system. Just moving isn't enough. Reader needs a sensory experience, not merely a kinetic one. >>

    Nice analogy -- that makes a lot of sense. Thanks, R.

    << "Description" by Monica Wood. She addresses the problem of using description to move the story. >>

    I read that one a while back. It was good, but I'm interested in something that focuses a little more on mysteries, because I think they require more restraint and discipline than most other types of novels when providing description.

    << Mickey Spillane >>

    I know he's one of the greats; haven't read any of his books. That link gave me a nice intro to his style. Thanks!

    << Maltese Falcon >>

    Read that one a while back, too, but I'm probably due for a re-read.

    << Along Came a Spider >>

    No, haven't seen that one. I'll look into it.

  2. #12
    nom de plume

    Re: "Description" in Mystery Writing

    Antonio, please let me know what year exactly your story takes place. I visit this coffee shop every day where they sell little booklets (to give instead of a birthday card) for many years. You may not want to use all that data but it may give more of a flavor. Here are a few things about 1955:

    Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

    James Dean killed in car accident.

    Albert Einstein passes away at age 76,

    Disneyland opened in California

    Kentucky Fried Chicken started.

    Television favorites: The $64,000 question, I love Lucy, Ed Sullivan Show

    Movie favorites: Marty (won Academy Award), Rebel without a cause, East of Eden, To catch a thief, the seven year itch.

    Music favorites: Ain't that a shame (Pat Boone), Autumn Leaves, The Ballad of Davy Crockett, Sixteen Tons ("Tennessee" Ernie Ford), Rock around the clock (Bill Haley and The Comets)

    Cost of living:
    New house $ 10,950
    Average income: $ 4,137 per year
    New car: $ 1,910
    Average rent: $ 87 per month
    Tuition to Harvard: $ 800 per year
    Movie ticket: 75 cents
    Gasoline: 23 cents per gallon
    Postage stamp: 3 cents

    Fresh baked bread: 18 cents per loaf
    Hamburger: 56 cents per pound
    Eggs: 27 cents per dozen
    Milk: 92 cents per gallon
    Sugar: 85 cents per 10 pounds
    Ground coffee: 80 cents per pound

    President Eisenhower increased minimum wage to $1 per hour.
    Captain Kangaroo premieres on TV as did Johnny Carson.

    So, let me know if you want a few humble facts for the year of your book.

  3. #13
    Joe Zeff

    Re: "Description" in Mystery Writing

    Oh, my, that brings back so many memories. However, I don't think Johnny Carson started in '56, although The Tonight Show probably did. IIRC, Jack Parr was the original host, and I think Steve Allen followed him, although I might be wrong there.

  4. #14
    Beautiful Loser

    Re: "Description" in Mystery Writing

    Sputnik's 50th anniversary - 2007.


  5. #15
    Beautiful Loser

    Re: "Description" in Mystery Writing


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