More Observations on Writing ‘Archimedes And The Cheerleader’

I recently complained about my novel needing a snappier opening. I thought today that I would find some popular novels and see how their authors threw their opening pitches.
I tried Alice Munro (a recommendation for different reasons from a friend) and John Updike. They were both too far to the ‘literary’ side of the spectrum. I then picked a couple of novels closer to the genre in which I have dropped ‘Archimedes’, James Patterson’s ‘Cross Fire’ and John Grisham’s ‘The Firm’.
I read a Grisham a long time ago. For me, it wasn’t exactly a page-turner. I have never read a Patterson.
I started with the Patterson. Yes, it was vastly different from my own, but I found I was less disappointed with my own.

Observations on Writing ‘Archimedes And The Cheerleader’

The western mystery novel, as is all western jurisprudence, is predicated fundamentally on the notion that all life is valuable. I wonder sometimes if Hinduism were predominant in the west, would Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and Rex Stout have been either necessary or successful?

The Trish who inspired the novel? Yes, I met her. The Trish as envisioned in the novel? Never met her. The real life Trish? Pretty awesome, as she had been a schoolteacher for quite a number of years. The fictional Trish? Wishful thinking, I guess. I’m of an age and condition that the scenes are no longer possible, but desired, at some levels.

Mitch is a tribute to a bartender at the American Legion in which I spent part of my life as a child. Again, no physical resemblance, but the original holds a fond place in my memories.

I don’t know about any other writers, not having known any personally, but I like giving names to characters that allow the reader to get a notion of their physical attributes without using trite and hackneyed nomenclature. The only exception here is Tiny – which is an actual nickname anyway. He is truly diminutive, but proportional and not a dwarf or midget.
A couple of examples:
Andy (Andrew) in my mental view is someone who is stalwart without being oversized – A man who exemplifies the stable without being stolid.
Trish (Patricia – a thoroughly Latin name, from the noun roughly meaning upper class) has a connotation of elegance without frippery, of gaiety without frivolity.