JOSHUA HOLBROOK github : twitter

An Interrogation (posted 21 Jan 2017)


So I’ve been binge watching Law & Order: SVU lately. It’s kind of a weird show because it combines all the fun aspects of crime serials–Justice™, cybercrime, Ice T saying silly things–with the most un-fun crimes imaginable. You can’t really laugh at it like you can CSI: Miami. Even TV cyber-forensics are tainted. A shame.

Probably my favorite aspect of crime serials is that they’re extremely formulaic. Usually this would be considered a bad thing, I suppose. Usually critics seem pretty bothered by unoriginal content, but for real, I love it. Maybe it’s because when I watch TV I often want to check out, and knowing the overall plot of an episode before I watch it is comforting, like meatloaf. Or perhaps, like ye olde Dinosaur Comics, the appeal is in the wide range of content you can get while coloring inside the lines. After all, Law & Order still has a twist ending sometimes!

As someone who wants to write, this is also appealing because it means that I can potentially write stories by coloring rather than penciling. Perhaps I can practice the micro aspects of writing fiction, and then step back into writing original plots later.

It’s so formulaic that I was even able to bullshit pieces of dialog without really trying that hard:

“…and that’s when you REPRIORITIZED THE BACKLOG”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“COME ON man we have TIMESTAMPS, YOU modified this card at 3:36pm yesterday afternoon”

“Okay fine I modified the card. But I didn’t change its priority!”

“Then what were you doing?”

“I updated the description! That’s it I swear! I didn’t do nothin’!”

I was originally going to try to flesh this out into a full coherent scene, but I’m not very good at writing right now. Even this requires some work on plot. Like, why did our perp reprioritize the backlog? Who are the cops? Why are they bothered? How do they get the perp to spill their guts on what went wrong? How do I make this a meaningful parody?

For me: All tough questions. If you know of a good book (heh) on how to do plots rather than dialogue, especially around crime serials, hit me up on twitter!