Today is the day it all began for us crime writers.
Today, in 1841, the world's first detective story appeared in print.
Think about all you know of detective fiction...The thinking detectives of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Louise Penny. The character-driven plots of James Lee Burke. The non-professional crimesolvers in almost every other mystery book of today.
All of these stem from Poe's creation--Dupin and Rue Morgue.
here.) Think about Poe's intention--introducing 'ratiocination' into the thought processes of the day. He also emphasized the importance of reading and writing through Dupin's utilization of newspaper accounts in solving the crime. These were modern ideas in 1841.
As I said in my recent post on books, I just finished The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower. In that book, I learned a lot about Poe's process for placing works in publication. It wasn't a pretty process for the genius, and I highly recommend the book for those interested in learning more about Poe, the crime that helped change New York City's police force, and how to write compelling true crime.
How do you incorporate these ideas in your writing? Knowing that the armchair detective and using newspapers and other written sources in crimesolving comes from Poe, does that make you appreciate him more? Will it make you read his stories again, this time with a closer eye to structure?
If you saw a flash of another article in your sidebar or on this site, you aren't crazy. I originally wrote a different post for today, and then realized the event about which you just read could not go unnoticed on a crime writer's blog. Check back tomorrow for the original post, Raising a child, Raising a book.