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Worrying about writing not being technically accurate

(8 Posts)
VegasCP Thu 18-Aug-16 17:55:42


I am writing my first novel, and enjoying it immensely! I am about a third of the way in and I am hoping to finish this year. Most of it is based around things I know - working in an office, normal family interactions and so on. But someone goes missing and the Police are involved. I have never experienced this first hand. I can find some documents online but it is not the same, so there will be some guess work around Police Procedure, which ranks carry out which parts of the investigation etc etc

How do people make sure what they write is accurate in terms of what actually happens? If that is clear

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Aug-16 18:46:56

Post a question on MN and someone will be able to tell you the answer. The problem, I think, is in little details that you might assume are accurate but aren't. Can you avoid a lot of police involvement in the story?

MrsHathaway Thu 18-Aug-16 18:59:17

Watch a lot of ITV Encore. Their researchers and advisors will make sure it's all at least passably accurate.

And yes, ask on MN. But be open about why. Posing a hypothetical situation as if it were real winds people up no end.

Kit30 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:12:26

Could you contact someone in your local force? They all have press officers and plenty of crime writers credit serving or retired officers as technical advisers, so they will have handled this sort of enquiry before. You can buy the police procedure books online too

Kai1977 Thu 18-Aug-16 20:56:31

Writing magazine (available at big WH Smith and on an app) has a few pages each month on crime writing and an ask the expert section which might be worth a look.

VegasCP Fri 19-Aug-16 07:46:00

Thank you all for your responses!

The story will be more around the impact of the missing person on the family, rather than the police involvement. Indeed, it is the little details I am worried about, such as making sure the right rank of Police Officer speaks to the family, for example. I did think of finding a number of a Police force to ring, but I did not want to waste Police Time blush

I will do all the research I can with the help of these replies, then only come back with questions if there is something specific.

I am so impressed by those of you who write several books a year! My life seems to revolve around cbeebies, potties and regularly appointments for a SN DC - I could not imagine doing more than one book annually

CocktailQueen Fri 04-Nov-16 22:03:01

I edit books for a crime writer. He contacts the local police force to ask them about police procedures and they are always apparently v pleased to help! So give it a go!

iklboo Fri 04-Nov-16 22:10:31

Contact your local police force and ask if someone can advise you. You can give them a credit in the acknowledgements when you're published.

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