Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bocas Lit Fest tackles crime writing

 One of the themes of the 4th NGC Bocas Lit Fest is crime. Not the act of committing crime but the long established tradition of Whodunnit.   

Question: What is the topic that most concerns the average person in this country? Answer: Crime.  But as organisers of the Festival point out, we produce very little crime fiction. That is set to change if their intentions are realized.  

A one-day interactive workshop, led by two highly respected Scottish crime writers, Allan Guthrie and Denise Mina, will introduce both new and experienced non-crime writers to the genre of writing noir. Scottish crime writing has a glowing international reputation and these two masters of “tartan noir” will be discussing the diversity of the crime genre, as well as providing insight into technical aspects of the crime novel. A few short, practical writing exercises will be used to help demonstrate craft techniques such as story, plotting, pacing, character, scene-building, suspense, surprise and setting.

Crime Writing includes detective, espionage, mystery, suspense, and thriller writing, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. The story revolves around solving crimes and often has a strong lead character or protagonist.  It includes, too, romantic suspense and speculative thrillers. Crime writing has a long history, going back to the 19th century and was dominated by British writers such as the Scottish Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the unbeatable detective Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie, who according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold roughly 4 billion copies, bringing her in just after the Shakespeare and the Bible in ranking. Later, American writers such as Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard enjoyed much fame and fortune.

 Bocas organisers point out that there are dozens of prizes to be won in the genre. So, there is much for the T&T writer to aspire to and the starting post is at this year’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest, 23-27 April at Nalis.