Of Literary Creativity and Restraint

So, there are two topics I wish to discus, and these words may very well not apply to everyone, though there is something to learn for everyone in almost everything, but I digress.
Two related thoughts occurred today to me shortly after watching a screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Lord Edgware Dies.

The movie was very well done, and as far as intrigue goes, it was, I believe, among the top of it’s class. For one thing, the plot didn’t leave the gaping holes in it that are so common among mystery and murder entertainment. For instance, I have been watching a show called Castle recently and I have found an average of a plot problem an episode from such things as introducing a charater or action and aparent failure to figure this action into the end result. This happens when in the course of trying to make the plot twist, you direct the plot away from a charactor, but neglect to explain his incriminating actions. I do enjoy the cerebral exercise, though I have no appreciation for the language and sexual references that pervade it’s plots. I would not recommend it to anyone younger than 18.

Castle TV Show

And that’s when the idea came to me that movies like castle, and many of the murder movies I grew up on are at least partialy responsible for the increase in murders. For instance, how do I know that fingerprints are used as incriminating evidence in a murder, that forensics can place a person at the scene of a crime by observation of such small details as gun powder on my hands or clothes? I saw it in the movies.

There have been copy cat murders for many years, but there are many other murders not labeled as copy cats that were conceived on the ideas of telvision script writers. It doesn’t matter to the person who died that their murderer was caught, only that they are dead because the person who killed them watched a lot of movies and used that knowledge to embolden them to do the deed.*

The blame falls mostly to entertainment. The thoughts that entertain us are also entertained by us. As long as we are never in a situation to use those thoughts, we’ll be fine, but if the situation were to be dire enough…

It’s a four way fault between entertainment, the news media (which for hundreds of years has been a source of entertainment similar to reality television.), a lack of real punishment for crimes, and the sinfulness of mankind.

Now to the reason I brought up Agatha Christie.

Poirot Lord Edgware Dies

I realized after I watched it that there was absolutely nothing in the story that could be used in a modern murder. I’m sure when it was written it had potential for disaster, but if writers were to see the problems they may be causing by popularizing usable murder methods, and set their stories in a way that everyone who reads it know’s that reproduction of these methods would result in falure, then the world would be a little safer place. There’s no way to cap the news media though. They’re like a fountain of ideas. None of them original to be sure, but dangerous none the less.

~Dan Delyon, Author in waiting.

And guess what! That was only the part on Restraint. Of Literary Creativity is the topic of tomorrows post. I do hope you’ll join me at 1PM for the exciting conclusion to this discussion. By the by, this is intended to be a discussion. If you have something you’d like to add or argue, feel free to do so below in the comments.
*I originally typed out “…inspired them to do the dead.” and I was tempted to leave it that way since it was applicable, but I decided in favor of readability.

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