I’m a crime writer.
Hell, I’ll put on my other hat (the one with the pointy top) and say
it. I’m even a fantasy writer (my
corvette reminds me every day, as those are the books that bought it.)
So I know about suspension of disbelief. I’m
willing to admit that as an audience, we might agree to ‘suspend belief’ for a
But enough is enough.
Television, you go too far. CSI Hoboken, or wherever you are, take note. Here are some things that drive otherwise fairly normal crime writers (oxymoron alert) crazy:
1. Crime scene people in high heels and raw
Of all the !@#$%^&* things that
television distorts, this is the one that bugs us the most. Ever been on a crime scene? Ever been in a LAB?
For six years, I was Director of Marketing
for the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science. I’ve been in a friggin’ lab or two. Take it from me: it ain’t a place for fuck-me
shoes and long loose hair. You want my DNA
messing with your crime results?
Network producers, stop treating us like
ignorant adolescents who need to be sexually charged every single moment. Stop.
Just stop. It’s insulting.
2. Gunshot victims who give their last speech and
then die, Kerplunk.
Full disclosure: I was also a hospital director. People who get hit with a bullet to the heart
die, kerplunk. They aren’t hanging
around to give their last words. People
who get hit in the gut may take many hours to die. It’s not a pretty sight. Take it from me. They usually aren’t thinking sentimental
3. Where’s the blood spatter?
you stab someone while they are still living and breathing, there is going to
be blood spatter. Usually, that spatter
will go all over the stabber. So sorry,
producers: your bad guy is not going to walk away immaculate from a crime scene
in which he just offed somebody with a stiletto. You won’t need Lassie to find him in a crowd,
4. Villains who do their ‘Fat Lady Sings’
Why does every villain in boob-tube-town
delay killing the good guy so he can tell the soon-to-be-dead schmuck his life
story? I mean, the schmuck is going to
be offed in two minutes, right? You’re
going to plug him. So why is it
important that he know why you hate your mother and the universe in general?
Someday, I am going to write a
book/script where one guy gets cornered and before he can say a word, this
<INT. A dark warehouse or some other cliché. >
The smoking gun fell to my side as Snidely
dropped to the floor.
“Dudley!” gasped Nell. “You didn’t give him a chance to explain!”
I yawned. “Bor-ing.
All these villains go to the same school. You heard one, you’ve heard them all.”
“Isn’t that against the law?” said
Nell, stomping her little foot. “Don’t you have to let the bad guy have his
The smoking gun fell to my side as Nell
dropped to the floor.