Sunday, May 23, 2010

Make it real

Last Wednesday, we sat at the breakfast table at 07.10 a.m. and discussed my mystery novel in progress. I told my husband and daughter that I'm planning to strangle the victim with a pair of nylons.
My husband weighed his head from side to side. "I doubt nylons would work," he said.
"Of course they would." I frowned at him.
Neither of us, of course, have any clue what we're talking about, but that doesn't stop us from taking a strong view and clinging to it.
"The material is way too fragile." My husband buttered his toast.
"Not at all," I refilled my tea mug. "If bundled together, it stretches out and becomes extremely resistant."
My daughter bit into her bread and managed to smear a dollop of chocolate spread on her nose. "You'd have to test it," she said.
I laughed. "No way. I don't want to lose either of you."
My daughter brightened. "We could try it on a teddy-bear."
It was at this point that I realized how much being an author had changed my life.
How boring our conversations used to be, how predictable. Now, my stories catapult me into areas I've never thought about. They make me explore things I did not know existed, all in the quest of getting it right. I'm off to strangle a teddy-bear now, but do tell me what crazy things you've done for your stories to "make it real" . . .


Elisabeth Rose said...

I'm sure tights have been used to murder people and you're right they're really strong when wound up like a rope and defintely wouldn't break.
Silk on the other hand is incredibly strong . . . a silk scarf would do the trick. :)

Nice topic over breakfast LOL

Zelda Benjamin said...

I eat way too much chocolate, but it's all in the name of research.

Sandy Cody said...

Actually, Beate, I'm pretty sure you could strangle someone with a pair of nylons. They're pretty strong. Not sure, it's crazy, but since writing BY WHOSE HAND, I've never looked at handwriting in the same way. (One of the characters is a 74-yr. old former FBI agent & graphologist.)

Anonymous said...

Nylons will definitely work. Someone in college dorm tied all the doorknobs together with nylons. They held so hard we could barelyopen our doors and wouldn't break with a great deal of pulling and this was with them stretched across hallways. Now me...? Nothing crazy, just sailed on an eighteenth century ship and climbed the rigging.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Sandy I saw a thing on TV recently saying that graphology was rubbish and has never been proven to indicate accurate character analysis and in fact gave examples where the 'experts' were totally wrong about sample extracts. It was classed as a pseudoscience.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Sorry, I mean that previous comment as an interesting slant on the topic not as a put down of your character and idea!! :)
I'd never heard that pov expressed before. As far as I know graphology has always been accepted as fact.

Sandy Cody said...

Don't worry, Lis. I didn't take it as a putdown. I'm quite the skeptic myself. However, when I took a plain, unlined sheet of paper and started writing without thinking about what I was saying, then compared my script to samples in the book - it was uncanny.

Interesting that we've had so many comments in response to a blog about ways to kill someone. Keep us posted about your mystery, Beate. Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Did the teddy bear survive your attack, Beate ???

Beate Boeker said...

Latest news from the front: The tights work very well, but you need a lot of strength, and the thing stretches out so much that your hands are too far apart, so I had to re-grip it which a victim wouldn't take lying down. It's good I tried it - I thought it was easier - and the teddy-bear didn't even struggle!

Laurie Alice, you climbed the rigging? Did you get to the top? I once tried to climb a palm tree. Didn't get anywhere, only hung like a beetle just above the ground.

Handwriting - interesting. I think it's amazing how different handwriting is from cuntry to country. You can always tell an American because they have different letters, and the same goes for the French. English have a very clear print. The Germans have just switched the handwriting taught in school which will make it interesting to see how the writing will change when these kids are adults.