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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/9956-Detective-Quirks.html
Mystery: January 08, 2020 Issue [#9956]

 This week: Detective Quirks
  Edited by: ~Minja~
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

“At the small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction - it fascinated rather than repelled.” ― Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle; Corrections And Editor Edgar W. Smith; Illustrators, The Hound of the Baskervilles

“Only once in a generation does anything as fresh as a vomiting detective come along.” ― Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas

"You can always tell a detective on TV. He never takes his hat off." ― Raymond Chandler

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Letter from the editor


any of the most famous detectives in literature have distinctive quirks that set them apart from the other characters. When thinking about quirks you want to give your character don't think about the physical appearance only. Yes, your character can have a recognizable pair of mustache like Hercule Poirot, but he can also have an obsessive-compulsive disorder like Adrian Monk and be memorable. Anything can be a quirk as long as it is unusual and as long as your readers are able to recognize and remember it. As I am writing this newsletter I keep thinking about Horatio Caine from one of my favorite crime series CSI: Miami and his cool appearance and those one-liners after which he would put back his sunglasses on. So, you see, literally, anything can be a quirk.

In order to use character quirks, you'd need to, of course, make them important to the plot. I mentioned Horatio Caine. When you watch CSI: Miami and see him taking a specific pose after which he points out the clue, you know that is important for the investigation. After he puts his sunglasses on you know his word is the last, you know these one-liners contributed to the plot more than, probably, everything his team already did by then.

Character quirks can be used often but make sure to not overuse them. Again, if you watch CSI: Miami you know that Horatio doesn't always have his sunglasses on and he doesn't always drop the bomb and remove himself from the screen. Sometimes he conversates in a different manner than usual.

Make sure you give your characters unique quirks otherwise readers will only remember them as a poor interpretation of someone else. Thankfully, as I mentioned, literally anything can be a quirk so you have plenty of choices.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Physical appearance

   *Bullet* Unusual hair/eye color
   *Bullet* Tatooes or piercings
   *Bullet* Always having his/her cigarettes on when solving the case
   *Bullet* They have that one shirt they seem to never take off because it is like a lucky charm to them
   *Bullet* Husky/deep voice


   *Bullet* He/she suffer some form of mental illness
   *Bullet* Your detective is extremely introvert/extrovert
   *Bullet* He/she feels awkward in any kind of love relationship
   *Bullet* He/she is always serious
   *Bullet* Your detective has exceptional wit


   *Bullet* Your detective has a great affection toward certain author
   *Bullet* He/she owns unusual pet such as snake, turtle, lizard, etc
   *Bullet* He/she despise when people don't use glass pad
   *Bullet* Your detective only drinks water/coffee
   *Bullet* He/she snaps fingers on an important clue

Until next time, try to observe the people around you.

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Editor's Picks

Crack Kraken's Code Contest [Round Over]  (13+)
Follow the clues and decipher the message to win prizes!
#746016 by Davy Kraken

Excerpt: For each round, I will disguise a quote—which could have been sung, spoken, or scrawled—and your task is to be one of the first five people to decipher it.

Top Secret  (E)
A detective sets up in business. Third place in No Dialogue Contest.
#2198184 by Beholden

Excerpt: Holdfast had all the gear, the trilby hat, the rumpled raincoat and rubber-soled shoes. He had rented a decaying office in an old, three-storey building in the worst area of town. His father’s antique desk had been dragged in and he bought chairs and a filing cabinet at knockdown prices from a pawnbroker. These were supplemented with a hatstand to aim at whenever he returned from a job. The final touch was a signwriter’s best efforts at the announcement on the glass-windowed door. Holdfast Detective Agency it opined. All he needed now was a client.

In The Moonlight   (18+)
A Detective gets a surprise in one of his cases.
#2183034 by Royal Eduardo

Excerpt: The drive over was easy, there was almost no one on the road. While the blood had been cleaned up by our forensics team, the stench of death still filled the mansion. The flash of blue seemed to come from the patio by Chandler's office, so I went over and looked at it. Somehow, everyone had missed a credit card sitting beside the plant. I pulled on rubber gloves and picked it up. Suzanne Waterson. Chase Bank. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the expiration date. 10/2028. "What the actual..."

 Case Closed  (13+)
Solving one mystery reveals another.
#2177426 by SherritheWriter

Excerpt: Decklan leaned back and scratched his head, mussing his short, blonde hair. “That’s another mystery. She’s a suspect in your boyfriend’s death, but she also might have run from fear of whoever got him. Or she could be dead too, and they haven’t found her body yet. Whatever the case, she knew what was happening when he disappeared, because she fell off the grid thirty six hours later.”

Detective's Secret  (18+)
Detective comes back from the dead to find his killer and solve his last case.
#1537073 by Write 2 Publish 2020

Excerpt: Dylan sat above the crowd on the ledge of the service area, where the finished drinks were 'placed for pickup. Since no one could see him he could sit wherever he wanted. Sometimes he sat right on the table amid a large group of people. He would mimic their talk and move their spoons, sometimes slipping them into their pockets if he could. He tapped into the minds of the customers, looking for someone who was open to experiencing ghosts and the paranormal.

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