Monday, December 18, 2017

The Importance Of Facts In A True Crime Novel

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By Jose Barnes

While rarely referred to as anything other than non-fiction, there are some stories based on factual events which reside under different genres. One of these genres is that of a True Crime Novel. While there is much controversy over whether a story based on factual events can actually be a novel, there are many books which are referred to in this manner.

Generally, authors working in this genre focus on a specific incident which often includes the perpetrator, victim, date, time and place associated with the crime. While some authors prefer to use the factual information as documented in a case, there are others whom might change the names to protect those involved. In either case, it is important that the primary facts of the case remain the same.

While the essence of the story can be relayed in either form, adhering to the facts is the most important aspect. In most cases, authors write these stories in first person, though there are a few whom prefer to write from the point of an onlooker. Whatever the case, it is also important that the facts of the case remain as close to the original as possible whether using the names of victims or characterization.

Research and development are the most important aspects in this type writing. When writing about a crime that has set a precedent or one which is historic in nature, it is important that all information such as date, time and place be specific. For, there are readers whom are going to take a special interest in the case. As such, a number of individuals may want to research and gain more insight into the facts of a case once having read the book.

True crime authors generally take information from a number of different sources then rewrite the material into a publication. Helter Skelter, published in 1974 which tells the story of the murders ordered by Charles Manson and committed by members of the Manson family are a good example. In fact, the book holds the title for being the all time best seller of books in this genre.

The most exciting books of this nature are often considered those which detail first hand accounts of a crime. In addition, when a court case has ensured and a sentence has been handed down, it is important that those details be included in as interesting a way as possible. For, when readers can put oneself in the court along with the perpetrator and victim, the story becomes even more interesting to the reader.

Sensationalizing crimes has long been a controversial topic. As to whether a book sensationalizes a crime, or merely tells the fact is something to be considered. In addition, it should be noted that in some cases, the individuals charged with a crime have later been found innocent.

Whether major or minor crimes, many make it onto local and national bookshelves. Depending on the essence of the story, the book may either be placed into fiction or non-fiction categories. Generally, if a story is based on an actual crime and written in first person, it is placed in the non-fiction category. Whereas, if the story has been changed to protect the innocent or for other reasons, it is often considered to be a fictional work based on a true story.

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