Ian Walker

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Good morning from sunny Wakefield. And, for those who remember the great musicals of the 1950s perhaps This is our once a year day! (About a strike in a mid-west pyjama factory). I've been writing for my own pleasure for six or so years and eventually joined JW. What I knew about writing a novel could be found on the border of a postage stamp. Still, the 194,000 words I removed created the back story. Nothing ever goes to waste. I have one completed manuscript going out to agents and I have submitted it to three writing competitions: The Daily Mail first novel 2019 - zilch. Now re-written to The Bath Novel Award 2020 and the Goldsmiths First Novel Prize 2020. I've crossed everything I've got two of. They follow the career of Brian Blake, a young police constable whose father, a serving detective sergeant, was murdered whilst on duty. That is dealt with in Other Men's Daughters. I have a couple of sequels in preparation working titles: Slushpile and Machello. Any offers from Beta readers gratefully accepted. Still find writing a synopsis a pain in the arse! 

E-mail: friendlypig@spamarrest.com

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Ian Walker Discussions
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Warning: This is a link to the whole novel. I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to comment!!
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Last time it was just the first chapter, now it's three. I changed the POV in the GREEN chapters to …
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  •  · Just in case you think I'm being sexist or worse in cases of sexual intercourse the words 'NO'  &amp…
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Slushpile Green One  For his sins his name was Lewis Green. For his sins he owned the Lewis Green Li…
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  •  · Thanks Bob, appreciated. Whilst I accept Rick's comments and am trying them to see how they fit they…

Sara, if you believe in honesty, be honest, it's usually the best policy.

There are many reasons why you don't want to refer to your previous agent, however the fact that you have had an agent in the past will tell then that someone thought highly enough of your work to sign you up. 

Susan, The query letter is an introduction. I think your first paragraph is fine and all you need as far as the narrative is concerned. Paras 2 & 3 are unnecessary. 

Para 4 is fine. It sets the scene and outlines why you are the person to write  the ms.

Agents are strange creatures and all want different things. it's best to check via Agent Match just what they require in terms of length of synopsis - could be as little at 300 words - others want more. Some want a couple of chapters, some will ask for a number of words.

It's a pain trying to make it fit, I know from experience.

Good Luck

You're welcome.

Yup. Even today on the tv in Line of Duty here are howlers. The young Pc Ryan whatever his name is, the member of the organised crime group. In real life no probationary constable would  be transferred to an MIT - Murder Incident Team. And last week reference was made to a detective chief inspector who apparently claimed that he was unaware that the police had a power to arrest on suspicion. Learning  powers of arrest is very basic and taught early on in initial training. It's a basic lifeline in policing but you must know when and why.

In an ideal world it would be separate cars but in the real world probably one. The circumstances will dictate the action. Should there be something which rouses the suspicions of the officers then keep them separate as much as possible. It just depends how you want to develop the plot. It's your story.

I read the post about the link to the CPS which is fine. However, see if you can check the date of the info on the site and make sure that it syncs with the era of your story.  It's not so much getting it correct, which always helps its the inner knowledge that you have, that it s correct. That is satisfying.

In modernish police stations apart from interview rooms in cell areas there will interview rooms close to the public entrance. Each woman in a separate room and, because it's a police station told not to leave. The ;last thing you want are civilians wandering around. 

1am could well be busy but it's also the time when the night crew will begin their meal breaks which may be covered by those officers going off duty at 2am. Of course circumstances such as shortages of officers might mean delays.

Scribes? No. Interviews conducted by experienced officers, possibly CID. Unlikely to be above the rank of constable. From which statements will be taken. The preamble to a witness statement is covered by the Perjury Act 1911 and the Criminal Law Act of 1967 - or at least it was in my time. This is to get across the seriousness of not telling the truth. Statements are signed immediately below the last line to prevent unauthorised amendments.

A defendant has the right to write their own statement. 

How long would they be there?

As long as it takes. And in case you were wondering they will not be provided with copies.

I hope this helps.

Georgina, what would you like to know? The procedure in the cell area or for taking witness statements? And in what era is your story set?

From a practical point of view the intruder certainly would. It would be preferable for both women to attend to give witness statements and interviewed separately. The police would want the information fresh and independent and without the women colluding. We know so little of your plot or of any history. The why?

Call me suspicious but not all complaints are honest.




Added a comment to Showing 

As far as show and tell is concerned it's fine, in my opinion. However this is a battle scene might I suggest a few changes to concentrate the action?

Just subjective I know but this is how I would have written it. Line 1: remove the comma after steps. The word 'and' before his.

Line 2: Regaining composure he stood firm. Both feet now gripped ...

Para 2. Line 1: Queasiness forced his eyes shut, stars darted across his vision ...

Line 2: Confusion. The odour of gunpowder. Distant distorted voices fogged his brain.

Line 3: The mist. The smoke. He Swayed. The roar ...

Line 4: eardrums. The ground beneath vibrated.

Steve, I had the same issue then I noticed the panel to the upper right of the screen. Very pale grey and not noticeable.

We have an example of a planet with two moons on our doorstep: Mars - Phobos & Diemos.


Have a dig around there's sure to be something useful.

I can't compare languages, as a Yorkshireman English is my seond language. And real life differs from fiction. Some iIndividuals swear more than others. In the police where I spent almost 30 years there wasn't much at all and I worked in some very busy police stations. But if you read books like Lynda La Plante's, Above Suspicion, and others you would think that obscenities were commonplace. They're not. The more often they are used the more they lose their impact but there are only two words in the English language which are classed as obscene. Offence is a question of personal choice and no-one has the right not to be offended. However there are plenty of words to choose from. In Counting The Dead I use the 'F' word twice. Diferent characters and out of character on each occasion, so it does carry impact. 

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