Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday: Police Edition

I just finished reading my first Max Allan Collins novel this past week. It's one of his Hard Case Crime entries, Deadly Beloved. Man! I couldn't get over how action-packed his sentences are. Collins always, always introduces a character with a description, something I tend to neglect in my urge to get to the action and/or dialogue. I listened to the audio version from so I don't really have a twofer sentence from the novel. But I learned a lesson: take a sentence or two and describe a character. When Collins did it, I had a perfect picture of a certain character and, from then, the action flowed.

For my few sentences, I've plucked a few from my crime novel featuring Anne Chambers, my police detective from Houston. Here, she's in a pickle.
Something inside me changed the day I killed my sister. Holding her bleeding body, watching the lucidity melt away from her eyes, I cried. I vomited. I had to be sedated. In the days after, I came to terms with my actions, my guilt, my rage. I knew who was to blame. I made a vow: I would never miss again.

These thoughts raced through my mind as my hand flexed around the butt of my gun, steadying my aim. The barrel of the Glock centered on the man’s forehead, the sight a fuzzy black rectangle between his eyes.

I had him cold.
For more Two Sentence fun, Women of Mystery is the place to be today.


Charles Gramlich said...

I like your two lines. Tense.

David Cranmer said...

I'm with Charles: tense. And the short bursts (sentences) aided the action nicely.

Leah J. Utas said...

Chilling, Scott. Bloody chilling.

Scott D. Parker said...

Charles - Tense is a good word. In fact, as I've rearranged the order of chapters for this crime story (this was chapter one), I've given some thought to submitting the chapter as a stand-alone story somewhere.

David - Ironically, as flowery as I write, the short sentences also flow just as easily. Guess that's what I get when I read Dickens and Bruen.

Leah - "Chilling." Boy, I like that word. My main goal with Anne is not to make her just a guy in a gal's skin. I want to make her a real woman. Now, having just read Max Allan Collins's "Deadly Beloved," I have more ideas how to do it.

Clare2e said...

Very nice, but I'm not sure "a pickle" is how I'd describe her state : )

My problem is that people even think some of my female characters read like men- go figure.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I really need to work on this, too.

Scott D. Parker said...

Clare2e - How about "deep ---"? And that's an interesting conundrum you have going for you. Wonder how long before some people think my guy characters are really gals?

Patti - The Two Sentence Tuesday posts are fun mainly, for me, because I like to see if the WIP sentences have any relation to the published sentences cited.

Barbara Martin said...

Your lines are tense with a clear objective in sight.

Scott D. Parker said...

My character certainly has an objective: save the life of her partner who has a gun to his head, a gun held by the perp. Thanks.