Do I Dare Ditch the Detective?

Spent part of the evening talking over my short story The Body and the Bomb with Marko. This is an Inspector Crandall mystery, one I’ve several I’ve written, in which I had experimented with having a co-investigator, local Constable Nouri. One of his comments sort of threw me for a loop: I don’t really need Crandall at all in this story.

Actually, he made a number of excellent suggestions, as did Bill, many of which would significantly improve the story without completely overhauling it. I think that I will try those first and see how far I get.

And yet… I find the idea of removing Crandall from a Crandall story almost intoxicating. My first reaction was that Nouri had a bit too strong of a personality to take the stage alone: I’d amped her up a bit to serve as better contrast in styles. But the result has been unanimous that she’s the more interesting character of the two in this story.

I think that I may do that as an exercise, no matter what I decide to ultimately do with the story. I’ve already shopped it around a fair bit with no takers (though a very nice personal rejection letter from one market, my only personal rejection so far [1]) so I feel like I don’t have much to lose with it — I have a feeling that this one isn’t going to be sold until I can shop it around saying, “Oh, and I’ve sold scads of sci-fi mysteries to these other prestigious markets, aren’t you jealous of them?” But I can certainly improve it, and maybe play around a bit too.

Those of you who’ve read it: What do you think? Would it benefit from being Nouri-only?

Those of you how haven’t, and have no idea what I’m talking about: uhh… I like cheese! Do you like cheese? Mmm, cheese.

[1] Isn’t it weird the way that gets used with writers? Ordinarily when someone gets rejected, you assuage their feelings with, “Well, it’s not personal…” In the short fiction market, the personal rejections are the ones we celebrate! (OK, not as much as the acceptances, but you know what I mean)

3 thoughts on “Do I Dare Ditch the Detective?

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