Detective comedy 1: Setting up the shabby detective

Setting up the shabby detective

The day it all started was a bad one

Let’s kick things off with a detective story trope: first person narration. The story starts with a narrator telling you how things were the day the adventure began.

What’s first person narration?
What’s a trope?

Read the start of the story.

There’s not much call for private detectives in Fulham.

The day it all started was a bad one. Business was so slack it was falling down all around us.

The Falcon's MalteserAnthony HorowitzSource

Often, the narrator in a detective story is the detective themselves. They’ll tell you their situation, what they think of the people and events around them, and their thinking as they collect clues. 

Other times the narrator is someone close. For The Falcon’s Malteser, the narrator is the detective’s assistant (and brother), Nick.

Why is first person narration so important to detective stories?
Writing tips
Choosing your location or specialisation

Can you see the same pattern in these examples?

Private detectives specialising in alien activity don’t get much work, it must be said.

The day started like any other one. The world was pretty much intact and invasion-free, which meant business was terrible.

There’s no money in solving mysteries for old people.

Let’s be honest, things had been bad before this whole affair even started. Business was in the toilet.

Your turn

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