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Whodunnit

Classic detective stories are now just that, classics. They opened the door for writers with vivid imaginations and well grouped wordings to fantasize a world of crime and crime solving. The early writers composed their stories in such similar detail that one could easily compare one story from one author with that of another in the same genre. Many stories exist, but only a few are deemed notable by critics. The authors of many of what are now considered classic detective fiction genre wrote by a certain set of rules.

These rules were occasionally broken and bent but the storyline never strayed far from the original rules that were set in place. Many call these types of stories "Who Done Its" but they can be classified under the name of ‘classic detective fiction'. The story follows a general set of rules. These rules were originally published by Ronald Knox to give the writer a clear set of boundaries when writing detective fiction.

Written in the heyday of classic detective fiction, the rules are as follows: From Fr. Ronald Knox's famous The Ten Commandments List for Detective Novelists · The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow. · All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.

· Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable. · No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end. · No Chinaman must figure in the story. · No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right. · The detective must not himself commit the crime. · The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.

· The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader. · Twin brothers and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them. If these rules were followed completely, it would be difficult to constantly generate new plots and stories.

One must offer variety to the reader; variety of the plot and storyline as well as of the characters and instances. If Sherlock Holmes were a writer, how would he have solved this catastrophe? "Elementary, my dear Watson". That is how. He would develop an elaborate tale and, no matter the circumstances, he would weave the tale effortlessly around the reader just like his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle cleared the way for other writers to become more spontaneous in their writing while still being somewhat focused on the rules.

His elaborate bending of those rules gained him the popularity among readers that he so deserved. Would Sherlock Holmes have been as interesting if he had never stumbled upon a crime? Of course not.

Chris Haycock is an information publisher, one of whose many hobbies includes crime fiction. Early detective fiction in particular. A particular favourite is Sherlock Holmes. If you would like to know more about Sherlock Holmes and an excellent offer, why not go now to http://www.sherlockandwatson.com



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