Guest Post: Writing Dialogue with The Drop Pot Man author K. Saunders @lovebooksgroup

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At first glance it appears to be a straightforward shooting accident... After ten years with the Greater Manchester Police, Detective Inspector Clare Morell thought she’d seen a lot of baffling cases; but newly assigned to deep in the heart of the West Country, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world. There are shepherds and Romanys, who speak in strange tongues; a Lord Byron lookalike army captain and a lethal killer who just might be an ETA trained hit-man. The strange lowland heath in the beat where she now works triggers an old childhood fear and there is the growing sense that her new home is not only disturbing but somehow threatening... And then... there’s Ellis.

Guest Post: Writing Dialogue


The children’s play area had been re-vamped since Clare had last driven past: it was now all stainless steel and bright panels with ropes and complex climbing sections – like a mini SAS assault course. There was also a new finger post which said Teenage Area.

‘What the hell’s down there, Karen – special bins for their needles?’ she said bitterly, as she pointed at it.

‘Probably, boss. But they’ve also got a “special” free condom machine … there’s GCSE revision questions on the packets.’

I enjoy writing dialogue and throughout The Drop Pot Man there were plenty of opportunities. It was used as a vehicle to sometimes inject some humour to lighten some quite dark themes and dialogue is also, I feel, the best way of illustrating an individual’s character and personality.

I created several groupings and situations. As examples, there are the interactions between Clare and her team which had to be within hierarchical constraints, then there’s the ‘craic’ at Bellini’s Café (‘Do you know how many calories there are in that Lardy cake, sarge?’ ‘No. Do you know how many consonants there are in “Mind your own fucking business?”.’), and the relationship between Clare and her outrageous neighbour, the lawyer Emma Butler – not forgetting the explosive one with the lecture Rob Ellis.


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