I was looking for a primer on the elements of fiction to help Henry with his English homework, when I ran across Making Shapely Fiction by the late Jerome Stern of Florida State University’s creative writing program. This is one of those read-worn books I forget about but end up running across about twice a year, pull off the shelf, and curl up with. It’s always a pleasure to re-discover it. Continue reading
Fictional detectives don’t fundamentally change over the course of a story. They may hone a skill, become savvier, gain experience, but their personalities remains intact. They may undergo an experience that requires transformation, permitting them to overcome personal flaws or weaknesses. Conversely, such an experience may weaken or challenge them, making them vulnerable in a new way. But what draws readers to appreciate fictional detectives and to care for them and their success in the course of the story, even over the course of a series, remains consistent.