What happens when you start researching for writing ideas (because, reasons)

This blog is about researching into the area you want to write in next. This may not appeal to most people,  but it can definitely be worth it. At the moment I’m reading a book called THE CRIME WRITER’S GUIDE TO POLICE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE. I thought it might be an idea to read this because my work at the moment seems to be branching in the work life of police officers in the area of the Midlands (an area in England that includes Birmingham, in case anyone doesn’t know where that is). The best idea I thought would be to try and make the writing as authentic as it can be, which limited me as I’m doing a Scriptwriting degree and I know nothing about the police running except from watching numerous episodes of THE BILL, focusing on The Metropolitan Police in London.

Reading the book has helped me to get an insight of how murder cases would work, which is quite handy as I’m trying to write a Radio Drama series that is in the Murder Mystery genre. After seeing so many murder mystery programs on the TV I wanted to have a go myself. Getting the ideas from the likes of INSPECTOR MORSE, LEWIS, ENDEAVOUR, MIDSOMER MURDERS, DEATH IN PARADISE, SCOTT & BAILEY,  LAW & ORDER UK, NEW TRICKS, BROADCHURCH, THE CORONER, AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MISS MARPLE, POIROT and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, THE BILL, CUFFS, UNFORGIVEN and many others.

Now I’ve started to get a feel of the world theses characters would be in, it helps me to find new ideas in that area are bombarding me like never before. I always was open to trying to write in all areas and now it appears that since I started this book on writing police dramas, I have thought of writing a TV series that is like THE BILL, but base it in Birmingham, a part of the vast area I’ve grown to know as I grew up. Branching out as far as Stratford-Upon-Avon, Leicester and maybe even a bit of Worcester, I seem to cover many areas, not to mention the centre and an area called Cathays in Cardiff in Wales, I’ve found I can cover vast areas with a police force if I wanted to. I’ve started a search for Street Atlases for them, already having the ones of Cardiff from trying to get my way around whilst I’m still in University.

I’m finding myself also drawn into thinking I could broaden the genres I write my books in so I could try and write a crime novel or novella, depending on the length. I’m thinking of reading what is in the genre right now so I can see what I’m up against and how I can create my own style to perhaps even adapt myself into a TV series or something like that. Adaptation may be a bit of a limitation for some people, but when it’s your own work that you know so well, the only way is up for that when you adapt it yourself. I’m thinking of doing that for my Radio Drama series I mentioned earlier. I have plans for a second series of it in radio and then I might see if I can get it to translate well into TV, just as a backup if I needed it, or if I’m ever asked for it to be adapted to TV, I would be ready with a few drafts up my sleeve.

Here’s my advice for what you do. Find an area you’re interested in. If you lack some knowledge in it and wish to push yourself with your writing, search on Amazon, Abebooks or Book Depository for any of those books (Abebooks and Book Depository can be cheaper than Amazon sometimes). Once you’ve got the book, read it and get a feel of what you may need to include. Once you’ve hopefully devoured the book for tips, start your planning and write like mad until you can’t write anymore. It’s ok if it’s bad on the first go. It always takes time. With my first novel (which I’m hoping will get published maybe in the new year) I had to do four or five drafts until I was sure where it was going. Now I know, I could rewrite from scratch if I had to. The process is different for everyone, but as long as you keep writing, it should flow into a story and characters you can’t but help loving, even if they’re cruel idiots. Even I can’t help falling for them and not wanting to let them go and I doubt it’s ever easy.

I hope this helped you and I wish you all a happy new year, hopefully full of writing and great stories.


Abbie Allen


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