Got this from “Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Mysteries,” an article by Dennis Palumbo.
It’s 5 questions to ask when coming up with a detective.
>Ask yourself, what makes you unique? What scares you, interests you, makes you angry? What do you yearn for, or wish to avoid? What are your hobbies, passions? What’s the aspect of your own character about which you’re most conflicted, unhappy, even embarrassed? Believe it or not, this is where the seeds of an interesting, unusual protagonist are first sewn.
So, I’m going to answer them.
1. Things that stand out, uniqueness: gay, came of age during HIV/AIDS, newspaper reporter 15 years but now corporate marketer, only child, drug addiction, vagabond, big reader and movie buff, tennis fan, love my dog, Daisy, raised by Southern Texan grandmother during formative period, in long term relationships although sex issues, live in Miami Beach,
2. Scares, interests, makes angry: demise of newspapers, right-wing Republicans and politics in general, money/power abuse, psychology, self-help, yoga, writing, getting older, prosperity, spirituality/religion, gay people …
3. My big desires/hates: spiritual ecstasy, money, sex, learning, writing, yoga, journalism / aging, addiction, prejudice …
4. Hobbies/passions: Unity/ spirituality, tennis, yoga, writing, journalism, sex, drugs and rock,
5. My conflicted character: being gay, sex vs relationship, shame/guilt …
Wow, there’s a lot to think about here for my detective: Drake Knight for my mystery, “Bring on the Miami Knight.”