Three reasons why walking is good for crime writers

1. Walking is good for thinking

Much of an author's time is spent thinking. It's not all pounding on the keyboard. And walking in particular is excellent for thinking through the plots of my crime novels and for trying to work out those tricky bits that I sometimes just can't seem to get my head around. Often my characters (especially my fictional detective DI Andy Horton) get into places and situations that I think - great, and then I haven't a clue how to extricate them! While walking I'll mull this over along with other aspects of the novel I'm working on and will return to the computer refreshed and ready to tackle that tricky bit.

2. Walking stops you getting computer shoulder and bleary eyes

You can often tell people who spend their days hunched over a computer, they stagger about bleary eyed, and have that Quasimodo look about them with the hunched shoulder and shuffling gait because they've been sitting for so long they've forgotten how to walk. OK, so I exaggerate but then I am a fiction writer.  But it is good to get out, take a break from the computer, not only to rest the eyes but to stretch the back and as I said above to stimulate the little 'grey cells.'

Yesterday I had a lovely five mile walk through the beautiful autumnal countryside along the Staunton Way, through Stansted Park. Today it will be along the shore of Chichester Harbour, which like Langstone Harbour on the opposite side of the Hayling Island bridge spanning the two harbours, is alive with Brent Geese, Swans, seagulls and home to many nesting birds and often rare visiting birds.

3. Walking is also good for research.

Because I set my crime novels in the area where I live, walking around the local area is also good for research and provides me with inspiration for new crime novels. I'm already thinking of the next one.  I'm not sure yet whether that will be another DI Horton or a stand alone thriller, or maybe even a new series of thrillers. But whatever I write I  know that I will find inspiration on the shores close to home, in the vibrant area of Portsmouth and surrounding towns and of course from the sea of the Solent and the coastline and bays on the Isle of Wight.

There are many more reasons why walking is good for crime authors, or any author come to that:

4. It's free
5. It's good for the complexion
6. It helps you to lose weight or regulate your weight


7. You get out and meet the most interesting of people who can provide inspiration for characters, and you see things and situations you can use in your novels.

So perhaps I should have entitled this article "Seven reasons why walking is good for crime writers."  I'm sure there are many more. Any advance on seven?


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