Coward’s Kiss is another of Lawrence Block’s early 1960’s Crime Novels, where everyone is neither black, nor white, but different shades of gray.
Private Detective Ed London is summoned by his creepy brother-in-law Dr. Jack Enright to an apartment on East 51 Street. Jack is not there, but the body of a dead girl is. Jack told Ed he was having an affair with the girl, but he swore to Ed he didn’t kill her. Even though Jack admitted he was cheating on Ed’s sister Kaye, Ed tries to help Jack stay out of jail by moving the body out of the apartment, which was where Jack was keeping the chick for their trysts, and dumping it in Central Park. Not a good move, Ed. Soon people are looking to kill Ed, while his slimy brother-in-law basically crawls into a simpering little ball of mush.
Coward’s Kiss is one of Block’s earliest works, but all Block fan’s will love his famed roller- coaster style, where no one is whom they seem to be, and surprise ending are always in store for the reader.
Coward’s Kiss is a one-night read. But I guarantee you you’ll get bang for your buck, if you buy this book.
If you haven’t read any of Lawrence Block’s novels yet, you’ll get great pleasure in reading his later works. Highly recommended are his fifteen, or so Matthew Scudder crime novels. And also his Bernie Rhoddenbarr/Burglar novels, which are written in Block’s inimitable comedy style. He also has several Keller “Hit Man” novels that follow the exploits of Keller, who is a killer for hire.
Thousands of people have written about solving crime and a greater number of people read about it! People’s interest in this topic fascinates me. Why are so many people interested in solving murders and mysteries? I too am interested in reading this genre and I enjoy watching the television shows and movies that depict successful crime solvers. It does not matter whether the person was poisoned, suffocated, drowned, drugged, driven over by a truck or thrown out of an airplane; the wily detective has a case.
Detectives come in all shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities. Each one has foibles that make him or her different from the others. There are thousands of fictitious detectives. Witness the many television detectives over the last twenty years. There were Colombo, Jonathon Creek, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, and Poirot as well as shows like CSI, Pie in the Sky and countless others. They had a different process but the results were the same. Yet they all fascinate us.
In my mind there are several components that lead to an interesting novel of movie in this genre. The first trait is that the detective must be unique. Most detectives are confident and sure of their work. Many times they need to have an accomplice who asks them questions so that the reader can keep up with the detective. The detective must be smarter than the reader. Usually the novel must contain at least one person, usually a beautiful woman who is wronged in some way by an ‘evil’ person. There also needs to be money involved in some way. Although these are not absolutely necessary in my opinion, many of the successful novels include them. In my novel “ONE,” I have created a young humble detective who uses technology as his weapon against crime. He is solving a puzzle that involves the death of a beautiful woman who has accumulated an inordinate amount of money.
The internet is a marvellous place to research how to describe ways to harm people. I fervently hope that the information from these sites is not used in real life. Other places for research include libraries. Become a ‘library junky’ and your writing will improve.
I find that writing detective novels is most rewarding because the ‘evil’ person can be dealt whatever punishment that seems appropriate. The number of twists and turns in a detective novel is only limited by your imagination.
Like all forms of writing, practice will help you achieve better outcomes. Become the most interesting detective writer of all time!
All writers have favorite characters from history, and exploring them through story-telling is, at times, difficult to resist. I know, having fallen in Mark Twain quicksand and getting out only by making him share the spotlight with two other characters. Here, then, is rule number one, unless you’re going to put a new slant on an old face – seek that character’s era, then seek out an utterly anonymous story from behind your famous figure. Great hits have come from exploring rats that sailed with Columbus – and one famous cricket has out-earned many a flesh-and-blood human. So, if Napoleon’s your man, go for the assistant cook that peels his potatoes, the roach who lives in one of them or the wayward soul who either made or shines his saber. The minor to anonymous figure in a famous era is nothing less than an undiscovered vein of literary gold.
No one should be dissuaded from choosing an era that most fascinates them. Once chosen, however, it must emit at least a “faux” reality, unless it is off-world. If it’s foreign, find someone of that country, literary works and recordings from their story-tellers. More important than the way they do they think? How do they communicate with those around them? How do they feel about those around them? Are they short and curt, broad and chatty, poetic or basic? Upon which “power words” are their conversations based? Do you have a sense of THEIR humor? Are they intimately familiar with the situation in which you put them? Could you act it out in front of a mirror, mastering all of the voices?
If you are writing in a dialect that people recognize or, in most cases, think they recognize, go overboard, far overboard… in the privacy of your studio at the computer. Before you publish, however, “consult consult consult” – then reexamine your copy and “retreat retreat retreat” until you have reached a satisfactory level of subtlety. Then, retreat even further, until you’re certain that every nuance of their speech is no more than a hint and natural byproduct of the character’s milieu.
Getting the twenty first century out of historical speech is like getting rid of ants or termites, and you can’t pass over one word without careful inspection. Many of our colloquialisms have moved to the center of our lexicon, but are still examples of misplaced slang to someone from the eighteenth century. Much of history is based upon class distinction saturated with minute variations of speech. From the hog-slopper to the Stubenmaedchen and on to the queen herself, you’ll have to comb out the obvious and overblown in multiple passes. For pieces such as Elizabethan settings, you’d best go the extra mile and have it read aloud with one person per character and a narrator.
Being drawn to a specific slice of life in a specific time is the very best reason to write about it, but have your passport in order and don’t write like a tourist. Until we’ve worked it out to the minutest detail, they always see us coming a mile away.
Love is timeless and stories of love transcend time. We still wonder at the romantic tales of the olden days and appreciate those of modern times. Even children’s tales are splashed with romance; the prince and princess riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. If you are interested in how to write a fantasy novel, you should probably start with writing a simple romance novel. Everyone, even the hard-hearted likes a good tale splashed with a good amount of romance. The following tips will show you how to write a fantasy novel, but especially how to write a romance novel.
Before you even embark on the actual plotting and writing, you ought to develop a taste for reading romantic literature. Read novels by famous writers and take note of how these writers have structured their plots. You should also read current releases. This will give you an idea of the latest trends in romantic writing and the type of material editors are looking for in modern writing.
You will also need to carry out thorough research on the market. Get to know what guidelines different publishers have, their standards and topics they prefer as well as those they will have nothing to do with.
You are now ready to begin with the planning of your romantic tale. Decide on the characters you will have; the hero and heroine. Decide on the basic plot of your novel and the theme. You will have to carry out thorough research to ensure that your plot is credible. Researching will help you include real facts and places as well as help the reader understand the theme better.
Having gone through all the above simplified processes of how to write a romance novel you should be better prepared to write.
The game of persistence: As writers we all think that our storyline, sentence structure and grammar is the best and it is only when we come up against an editor or critic that we are told that what we have written is either an illiterate mess, or amateurish and not to give up your day job. So if you are convinced that this is not so then who has the right to decide that which we have spent hours researching and correcting is unfit to be published?
If I told you that my latest novel was brilliant piece of fiction and you have to buy it, would you? No, you wouldn’t because you do not know me and as far as you are concerned I have no writing credibility. However, if a newspaper columnist or well-known book critic or even a famous presenter of a television program told you that a particular novel was a brilliant piece of fiction, would you buy it? The probable outcome is that you would, based on their recommendations, but what do they know about your taste in books? Very little, in fact not a thing. So what is the difference between the two?
How many of us have read books by a well known author on the recommendation of a friend, book club, critic or press release only to find that the book we are supposed to be excited about is, as far as you are concerned, a boring excuse for a novel.
Do well known writers survive because of their first success or because of publicity? You can compare it to the older entertainers who still keep appearing on our screens simple because of their past successes. If they had to start again, along with their aging skills, then many of them would be complete failures.
So what makes one book or story any better than the next? Is it the storyline, or prose or something else? Does a writers first book lay a solid foundation on which to build upon for the next? How often have you read a story or novel and you enjoy the read only to learn later on that the book is viewed as a secondary work of art and will never be a best seller.
Why does one person have the right to veto the work of another person when they are expressing only their own opinion. The power of the written word has many users and non-more so than newspaper editors who can skillfully blend and bend a story to have a totally different meaning.
So are there many award winning novels dwelling in a forgotten folder, on some ones computer or a long forgotten manuscript stuffed carelessly in a drawer? The answer is yes there are, so how do you get them noticed and into print? Knowing the right people may help, submitting the manuscript to hundreds of publishers might help. If you are determined to be successful then you have to employ the good old standby called persistence. Use it to get your book out there and do not give up, without persistence you will not even have a chance of survival or success as a novelist.
To quote Mark Twain: The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.