Good writing works because it evokes reactions in your reader though the use of triggers - words, phrases, images, places, sensations that reach deep into the reader’s mind.
That reaction will be based on something the reader has actually experienced, or maybe something that the reader dreads ever having to experience. It is why horror and ghost stories work so well. The same with crime fiction.
Why am I musing on this at this precise moment? Because the DCI John Blizzard mystery Strange Little Girl (The Book Folks) is riding high in the Amazon Kindle charts and if ever one of my books evoked a reaction in its readers, it was that one.
Why? Because it dealt with the tough subject of child abuse, not because I wanted to explore the theme, abhorrent is it is, but because I had a plot idea that just had to written.
I kept the details of the crimes vague – I was much more intent on exploring the men protecting the perpetrators – but it was upsetting at times for all that.
But sometimes that is unavoidable if a writer is keeping true to themselves. Yes, you are messing about with the reader’s head, yes, you may be forcing them to confront difficult truths, but isn’t that sometimes what writing is about? If every story, every book, was about sugary-sweet people in lovely situations, then writing could never really move the reader as it should. And crime fiction would not exist.
So, yes, writing can, on occasion, make the reader feel uneasy, uncomfortable, scared even, but, let’s be honest, isn’t that sometimes the way we feel in our daily lives anyway? It’s simply art reflecting reality.
You can buy the book at
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