Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ten Things You Need to Know About Writing a Good Sherlock
By OFW editor:
Published: August 02, 2013
Sherlock Holmes is an iconic character – even if you’ve never read the series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you undoubtedly know who Holmes is and what he’s like. It is for this reason that the character has been elevated to a character “type.” Writers from all walks of art – screen, novel, comic book – have manipulated his features to create their own “Holmes.” If you plan on writing your own, here are a few things that MUST be included as a part of your character to create a convincing “Holmes.”
Holmes has an undeniable, outrageous intelligence and an expertise in his field.
The Holmes character is the one the secondary characters go to for answers. He is observant beyond the layman’s capabilities and makes logical connections that are obvious to him, but ridiculous to others.
He is a cocky bastard.
This is pretty self-explanatory. He is not only a genius; he knows it and will not resist the opportunity to employ genius condescension.
Deductive reasoning is the only method to find answers.
Coincidence doesn’t exist. Things never just “happen” in Holmes’s world.
He is limited only by a self-inflicted vice.
The original Holmes had opium. Your Holmes will be slave only to his own addiction, be it alcohol, drugs, sex… When he is at his lowest, he will resort to this vice and claim that it helps him. That he cannot function at his peak without it.
There is a sidekick.
Holmes needs a Watson. Someone to bounce his ideas off of, to go along on his insane leads, and to guide him when he’s starting to go a little off the edge.
He is terrible at interpersonal relationships.
Aside from his “Watson,” a Holmes character will have no other friends because he doesn’t value things that aren’t tangible. Romantic relationships are few and far between and often shallow at best.
Holmes doesn’t take things at face value.
Everything has an explanation, a reason. He doesn’t accept things as being “just because.”
He is uninhibited by issues of hygiene.
Or issues of fashion. How he looks or smells to others is of little interest to him.
The Holmes character marches to the beat of a different drummer.
That’s putting it nicely. Societal norms don’t apply to him. He does things his own way because his way is better, more efficient, and more successful.
Religion? Um, hell no.
His higher power is reason; pieces that come together to form a picture through science and realistic explanation. Religion, to a Holmes character, is fascinating, but ultimately a waste of time.
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