by Robert Lopresti
(The pictures in this column are intended to point out something incredibly cool. The British Library just placed more than one million illustrations from their books on Flickr. All public domain, yours to use at will. Wow!)
Back in 2009 I blogged a list of New Year's Resolutions.
Last year I did it again, but that time I generously made a list for
various fictional characters, hoping to improve their lives.
Well, it appears that my turn in the barrel is New Year's Day so I
can't resist the chance to do it again, but this time instead of
advising characters I am going to offer some useful suggestions to their
creators. I trust you will add a few in the Comments
section. If you don't I will assume you are too badly hungover to
function and send someone to your house to preach temperance. So be warned.
Horror movie writers hereby
resolve not to let their characters split up when they know they are in
danger, unless it has already been established that they are idiots.
Chic Lit writers resolve not to
their characters use their devious feminine wiles to get something they
could have just by asking, unless a point is being made about their
Private eye writers resolve to get their heroes' sociopathic sidekicks some therapy.
Noir writers resolve to remember that to be noir a work must include crime, not merely be depressing.
Cozy writers resolve to remember that murderers need motives.
Humourous writers resolve to be funny (I'm lookin' at you, Lopresti).
Police procedural writers
resolve to prevent their officers from doing things that would get
their cases kicked out of court, unless it is established that they are
aware of the danger.
Suspense writers resolve to admit that not every criminal has a super-intellect and obscenely good luck.
Thriller writers resolve to
consider the possibility that ninety percent of all conspiracies
consist of one dummy screwing up and a lot of smart people making a
mess trying to hide it.
Courtroom drama writers resolve to occasionally show a judge who doesn't hate the hero.
Any other suggestions?