Thursday, June 30, 2011

Doyle Twists and Vital Clues

Well, I feel kind of disappointed in myself. I started this blog to help with my writer’s block, and

yet I’ve been using it to document my personal life. I feel like one of the thousands of people who go online and post something completely uninteresting but still hoping that people will like it. Heh, I’ve probably even scared off a few people, come to think of it. I’ll try to keep on the topic of writing from now on, unless something life-changing occurs and it means I’m going to be away for a while.

Or if it corresponds to writing somehow.

Anywho, I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I would discuss something I called the Doyle Twist. It probably has another name, but I can’t be bothered to look that up right now. It’s supposed to be a twist ending where the main character figures out the twist before the reader based on information that wasn’t given in the rest of the narrative. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, does this a lot in many of his stories (or at least the ones I’ve read), and it made me tear my hair out in frustration. You can mislead the reader, sure, but if you don’t give them all of the information then you just look like a jackass.

I don’t know, maybe Doyle did it on purpose so that Holmes could seem very intelligent. But if he had added in a few details that led to the twist, I guarantee people would figure out the twist before the end.

If you’re still unsure as to what I mean, I’ll give you an example.

So, let’s say Sherlock Holmes starts investigating the murder of this wealthy land owner. All signs seem to point to the butler because he hated his boss, he was getting ready to move out, and he knew how to use a gun. So, what we have here is a motive, a getaway plan, and the training required to handle a weapon. Seems like an open-and-shut case, right?

But then, BAM! Holmes comes in and says that it was the maid who was the murderer, not the butler!

“But detective, what evidence do you have against the maid?”

And then Holmes reveals that he had been told that the parrot the land owner kept as a pet could only speak three phrases, but when Holmes was investigating, the parrot had uttered a fourth phrase! Dun dun duuuuun!
“What was this fourth phrase, detective?!”

Well, the fourth phrase just happened to be the land owner’s exact words to the maid: “Please don’t shoot me, Charlotte! Don’t shoot me!” So, the parrot was a witness to the crime and was mimicking his master’s words! AHA!

“Oh, snap! How did we not hear that parrot? We must be bumbling police officers, after all!”

And then Sherlock Holmes lights his pipe, nods to them, and walks back to London.

Now, wouldn’t that piss you off if that had been a real story?

What I’ve learned is that a good writer leaves small hints that play into the twist. Sure, you can throw in a few red herrings because that’s natural – you want to leave the reader guessing. But giving the reader no information while at the same time misleading them? That’s a slap to the face. You’re just asking for hate mail, in that case.

Another twist that pisses me off is something I call the Vital Clue. You see this in almost every crime show nowadays. The investigators have all this evidence that points towards someone being the murderer, or the evidence changes constantly and points to several different people an episode. And then towards the end of the episode, the investigators get one vital clue that implicates to the real murderer. I’m sorry, but in the real world those investigators are going to need a whole lot more to arrest someone instead of just a partial fingerprint on a table that was in the other room of the victim’s house.

There’s probably dozens of other twists that piss me off, but those are the main two. What do you all think? Do you agree? Disagree? Also, if you have anything you want to get my opinion on, just leave a comment below and we’ll see.

I know I’ve said this before, but I really don’t expect anyone to take interest in this. Hell, I’m surprised I even have one follower at the moment (Even if they are a little crazy. I mean, they’re claiming that SLENDER MAN is stalking them. Come on, really?). If you are reading this, though, don’t be shy! I’d enjoy getting some feedback, at the very least…

Until next time, I guess…

- Arthur Pierce

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hey, everyone. This will be a smaller post compared to my previous two entries.
Yes, breathe a sigh of relief because you don’t have to read a block of text.
Anyways, the little hiking trip I was supposed to go on today was cancelled because of rain. I’m relieved that we didn’t have to go, but I think Charlie was disappointed – probably because he couldn’t look for filming locations, haha. When I asked Sarah if she wanted to go hiking with us, she accepted, but because of the rain she just stayed home. I feel bad… I might try and hang out with her this week. I don’t think she needs to be alone right now.
Anyways, all we did was hang out at Charlie’s place for most of the day. Chelsey (that’s his girlfriend, by the way) came over around noon and we all went out to eat at one of the local burger joints in town. Strangely, I don’t feel like the third wheel when I’m around those two, possibly because Chelsey actually pays attention to me rather than focusing on Charlie the entire time (which a lot of girls I know do that).
After the burger joint, we went to the mall and pretty much walked around the entire time. We stopped at Gamestop a little ways in so that Charlie could get some information on Halo 4. Chelsey didn’t mind; she knows we’re nerds and approves. While I was looking at games, I was thinking about getting this survival horror game called Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I’ve read about it somewhere and it sounded really awesome, but I’m not sure if my computer would be able to handle it (seriously, why do all the great games have to be on the PC? Ugh). If anyone reading this has played it, what do you think? Should I get it?
Well, after the mall we went back to Charlie’s place, doing pretty much nothing except watching the first Saw. I was going to play around on Charlie’s laptop, since he has this awesome program called GIMP on it, but he said he was busy with it. I think he was looking at some other blogs on here, because it had the same format as mine (though it was gray) and had a title that was about trails, or something like that. Maybe Charlie really is getting into hiking if he’s looking up blogs on it. I really hope not, though, because if I know Charlie, he’ll drag me into it.
Damn it, this looks a lot longer than I expected it to be. Sorry, sometimes I just get carried away. Well, maybe that’s normal for a writer, now that I think about it.
Until next time!
-          Arthur Pierce

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friends, Updates, and Hiking

Hey, everyone. It’s been about a week since I made a post, and as I told you before, Charlie was getting on my case about how I wasn’t using this blog. Well, he did it yet again. Yep, he’s just that much of an asshole.

Nah, I’m just joking. Charlie’s a great guy, and I’m not just saying that because he’s watching this blog. We’ve been friends for a few years, ever since I met him online. Yes, you read that right. We became good friends after playing some Modern Warfare and Left 4 Dead, and when we got to know each other better we found out that he only lived about an hour away from me. We eventually met outside of the gaming atmosphere and started hanging out when we got the chance. Now that both of us have our license, we’re able to meet up almost every day!

The reason I think we’re best friends is because we understand each other. Both of us are thinking about going into the entertainment industry when we’re older, with me as a writer and Charlie as a big-shot director in Hollywood. We both enjoy the same types of things, such as games and movies. But the one thing that’s different about Charlie is that he doesn’t limit himself to the technological world like I do. Yes, he’s as much as a nerd as I am (and you know it, Charlie), but he also gets out and does something, whether it be walking his dog or looking for filming locations (more on that later). He doesn’t play any sports, though, because we both agree that sports are not as big a deal as many Americans make them out to be. In fact, I’m sure both of our schools could do without football and baseball; the school keeps spending money on ‘upgrading’ the stadium that they’re neglecting to hire a full-time nurse or maintain some parts of the building. I mean, seriously – do the announcers need a fucking air-conditioned booth for a two hour game?

Alright, back on topic… Well, all in all, Charlie’s a great guy. I know I’ve made him out to be kind of a jerk because he’s practically forcing me to write this blog, but it’s all for a good cause. I think this is helping me, actually, because I managed to write something today! It’s not anything great, of course, because it’s only a page long. But hey, that’s something.

Oh, right. Updates.

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted you all (or whoever is actually paying attention to this blog) to pray for Sarah, a friend of mine. Well, to those that did – thanks. Things haven’t gotten better, though; in fact, they’re gradually declining. Her dad took off on Saturday after an argument about the bills, I guess, and no one’s heard from him. Sarah is worried to death and has gotten it into her head that something happened to him. Personally, I think the guy had had enough of living in that household and finally just walked away from it. The reason I say that is because Sarah’s mom is a bitch. She’s always grounding her kids for no reason, she almost bit my head off when she learned that I was going to be taking Sarah to the junior prom (Sarah’s just a friend, so don’t get it into your heads that I like her that way), and Sarah told me that all contact from her mom’s side of the family has ceased.

I have no idea why the hell her mom would cut off all communications with her relatives. When I heard that she was getting a divorce it didn’t come as much of a surprise. If I lived with Sarah’s mom, I might have walked out a long time ago. Knowing her dad, he’s probably in some hotel room watching Friends reruns. I do hope nothing happened to him, though, because with what Sarah is dealing with right now, she doesn’t need any more emotional grief.

Moving on…

Oh, another thing I mentioned in my last post was going to conduct a little interview with some of the police in my town. Well, I never got a chance to visit them because they’re busy (go figure), but they’d try to have one of the detectives see me in a few weeks. Eh, it’s not a bad thing because now I get to think about what I want to ask them. Oh, that reminds me! Do you all have any questions that you’d like me to ask for you? As long as they’re not really strange or completely off-topic, I’d be happy to do that for you. Just post a comment and I’ll make a note of it.

Two more things before I sign off. Remember how I said earlier that Charlie was looking for filming locations? Well, he’s finally gotten a camera that works rather well, so he’s thinking about trying a little film project for the summer. Nothing big, of course, but it’ll keep us entertained. I think he’s going to ask me to work on a script for him, too, so maybe that’ll also help me get over writer’s block.

The second thing kind of corresponds to the first, actually. Charlie invited me to spend the day with him and his girlfriend this Saturday. He mentioned hiking, so I don’t know if I’m going to go (I hate hiking with a passion), but I have a feeling that he’s also going to use this as an opportunity to look for filming locations. If that’s the case, I guess I’ll humor him by going. Maybe I’ll take Sarah with me, too… It might do her some good to get out of that house.

Until next time!

- Arthur Pierce

Monday, June 13, 2011

Well, it’s been a few days since my first post on this blog. I know I said I’d update as often as I could, but it’ll probably be a few days between each blog post. Maybe a week – who knows? But I guess it doesn’t matter, anyways… Not like there are a whole lot of you watching this. I will admit, though, that I was surprised that I even got a comment on my last post! There are some people visiting this blog, so that’s a plus.
                Okay… I need to get something off my chest. I wasn’t fully honest with you last time, and I’ve just felt guilty about it. I guess I’ll tell you now, though…
                I know I said that I was going to use this blog to get over writer’s block, but the real reason for making this was because of my friend Charlie. He’s been yapping at me for months, trying to get me to make something like this because he’s tired of me whining about how I can never finish any of my stories. The only reason I complied was to get him to shut up – so, in a way, we both win. I have somewhere to rant about my writing, and Charlie shuts up about this blog.
                Well, that’s what I thought would happen. As it turns out, he’s been keeping track of my progress on this site (how the Hell he found it, I don’t know), and I got a call from him an hour or so ago. He was happy that I finally decided to make a blog, but he kept talking about how I didn’t really introduce myself.
                Well, I didn’t want to talk to him for an hour or more. It runs up the wireless bill, for one; I also hate it when people call or text me first. I guess it’s just one of those little pet peeves that I have. Whenever my phone starts buzzing I instantly get annoyed, no matter if you’re a person I’ve wanted to talk to. I told him I’d make a new entry on here telling more about myself rather than giving off an asshole vibe in my first post (which, if you really do think I’m an asshole, sorry about that – I wasn’t in the best of moods then).
                So… I guess I should get started on the real reason for this post, right?
                My name’s Arthur Pierce (obviously) and I’m a senior in high school – or I will be, come August. I’ve been interested in writing for as long as I can remember, and I don’t limit myself on what kind of writing I do. I’ve edited scripts for the Cinematography Club’s short films; I’ve even helped with the drama productions the school has every spring. In fact, helping people is one of my skills that I enjoy more than writing, but the downside is that no one really wants my help. I don’t know why, really – I’ve never done anything to affect my reputation in a negative way.
                I try and experiment with each literary genre so that I know what I’m good at. I mentioned last time that I was more of a crime writer, though, and that’s because I feel at ease in writing there. It’s more natural to me than, say… Romance or comedy. The mystery of the genre is what excites me, as you can keep the reader guessing as to where you want the story to go. Is this guy the killer, or is it his girlfriend? Or maybe it’s that bum on the street corner!
                See, stuff like that is what I live for.  I’ve read so many mystery books that I’m starting to figure out the twist before the end of the story! Well, except for Sherlock Holmes’ stories, but that’s because Doyle is a fucking cheater when it comes to twists. I’ll elaborate on that in a later post, though; I think it deserves more than just a paragraph here.
                I’m not just limited to mystery, though. I love the horror genre, too, though I’m not any good at it. I have trouble creating an antagonist – whether it be a monster, a killer, or some sort of evil spirit – that’s believable. I’m working on that, though… I’ve been reading a lot of Lovecraft and Stephen King, so maybe some of their magic will rub off on me.
                I’m going to stop here for right now. I know blocks of text aren’t appreciated anywhere on the Internet, so I won’t risk scaring away some of my readers because of a super long post. As I said before, I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again. Even if I can’t write anything at the moment, I can still do research! I’m going to try and stop by the police… office, or whatever the Hell they call it. There’s some sort of investigation into a few disappearances in the area, so maybe I’ll find something useful for a story.
                Also, if it’s not asking too much, can I ask my readers to pray for a friend of mine? She’s going through a tough time right now; her parents are getting divorced, her family is pretty much fractured, and she’s going through some depression issues at the moment. I’m helping her as best I can, but it’d help me knowing she has some support, even if it’s from the Internet.
-          Arthur Pierce

Friday, June 10, 2011


For those of you that didn't read the description, I'll fill you in: For a while now, I've been unable to write anything fiction-related. I mean, I want to - the ideas are there, swimming around in my head. However, I feel like all I'm doing is staring at blank space most of the time. It's so aggravating, because these ideas sound great in my head... but I can never find the words to describe them. I'm hoping this blog will help me get over this, though... Maybe writing down my thoughts will eventually help me overcome this block I have.

Anyways, if you're expecting anything great or interesting coming from this blog, I honestly doubt it. I mean, if you want to follow the ramblings of a crime writer, be my guest. It'd be great to have some people that can share their own ideas on how to overcome writer's block!

I think this is enough for my first entry, but I'll try to update as often as I can.

Until next time,

Arthur Pierce