I have written previously about the division of crime-writers into those who write ‘whodunits’ and those who write thrillers. Well, I have heard that, for some people, the important distinction is between a ‘dark’, also called ‘hard’, and ‘light’ or a ‘soft’ crime-writer.
What does it all mean?
- ‘Dark’ or ‘hard’ novels contain a explicit, detailed descriptions of violence and a sense of looming, possibly supernatural, evil.
- ‘Light’ or ‘soft’ novels tend to include more humour and have a more cheerful atmosphere.
Which do I prefer?
- As I said about the distinction between the ‘whodunit’ and the thriller, I think you can be overanalytical. There is a spectrum. I tend to prefer those novels at the lighter end, but not exclusively.
- I think there is a need for realism and real-life crime is not usually pretty.
- However, our sense of humour is one the things we British are proud of and a writer, or a hero, without a sense of humour is not going to appeal to me.
- If you think I have just contradicted myself, bear in mind that humour is also a part of real life.
What sort of crime-writer am I? What about my forthcoming novel?
- It will lean on the ‘light’ side.
- I have allowed my hero to show a sense of humour.
- However, there are moments of violence and fear. It is far from being a comedy.
- I want it to seem real enough for you to feel for the victim as well as for my amateur detective hero and his sidekick.
- The above points indicate the kind of crime-writer I intend to be.
Of course, different readers will gain different perceptions from reading it. I hope they will mostly be favourable, whether they consider it ‘dark’ or ‘light’.