With the NANOWRIMO marathon coming soon, I've been pondering on the effectiveness of the plot I'm thinking about. I came across this Times magazine critique of the Hitchcock film "Rope" from 1948. If you want to read the full entry in Wikipedia go HERE.
Here's the quote:
Much of the play's deadly excitement dwelt in [the] juxtaposition of callow brilliance and lavender dandyism with moral idiocy and brutal horror. Much of its intensity came from the shocking change in the teacher, once he learned what was going on. In the movie, the boys and their teacher are shrewdly plausible but much more conventional types. Even so, the basic idea is so good and, in its diluted way, Rope is so well done that it makes a rattling good melodrama.
The film, produced with technical innovations as Hitchcock experimented with effects, was based on a play and is about as cunning as one could imagine. I hope I can find it on DVD. I think it would be a good study before starting to write another of my village mysteries, though the artistry attributed rightly to Hitchcock's skill at making movies is an element to which I cannot aspire.
As with nearly all theatrical presentations, the real action takes place off-stage before or after. Much of stage work consists in discussing something, missing something or planning something. As an opera singer I had ample chance to act out the deeds committed elsewhere. I suppose that latches on to the art of story-telling as a whole, the fascination of hearing a good story over and over again, one's ability to be horrified each time.
I already have a title for the new book - it's to be called "The Spiritual Murders", but is not religious unless the art of singing slave songs is included. Who does what in the book is not yet clear to me, but I will be using characters from previous books in the series and there are one or two who did not get much of an airing, so they might make good victims! I enjoy telling myself the stories I put into my books. They seldom have anything autobiographical to offer because I deliberately write in a genre that is strange to me,as it is to many (but probably not all) writers!
I'll post the book on a blog as I go along.