Resources for Writers
Writing Courtroom Scenes: Really Useful Links by Paul Anthony Shortt
Writers love courtroom drama. They’re pure conflict, and can illicit the full range of emotions from the reader. The thing is, unless we’ve studied the law or are trained solicitors, most of us don’t have a clue about how the court process really works. Unlike hospitals, office environments, schools, etc., it’s quite possible for many of us to go our whole lives without ever even setting foot in a courtroom.
So where do we get our information about how a court scene will play out? Typically, we get it from television and movies. However, such depictions are not necessarily accurate. Popular culture creates an image in our minds about how things “should” be. This leads us to assume things are realistic when they’re not, and balk at depictions which are true-to-life, because they conflict with what we’ve built up in our heads to be the reality.
I’ve gathered up some articles which will help you sort legal fact from fiction, and help make sure your courtroom scenes are the best they can be.
1: An Inside Look at Law and Lawyers – We start off with first-hand advice in a guest post on C.S. Lakin’s Live Write Thrive website, offering some insights that aren’t always obvious.
2: Top 10 Mistakes Authors Make When Writing Legal Scenes – Staying with C.S. Lakin, we have another guest post, this time pointing out the things a writer is most likely to get wrong about how the law works.
3: Courtroom Drama: Trials and Errors – Trial lawyer Paul Levine takes us through a range of incorrect assumptions we’ve made about courtrooms, thanks to popular culture.
4: Writing Realistic Courtroom Scenes – This article from Inspiration Unlimited present further tips on courtroom scenes, with the added advice to concentrate on the human side of the story; the events, emotions, and stakes that the reader will connect with. In your efforts to get the details correct, don’t forget that stories are about people, after all.
That’s all for this week. Good luck!
(c) Paul Anthony Shortt
Paul Anthony Shortt believes in magic and monsters; in ghosts and fairies, the creatures that lurk under the bed and inside the closet. The things that live in the dark, and the heroes who stand against them. Above all, he believes that stories have the power to change the world, and the most important stories are the ones which show that monsters can be beaten.
Paul's work includes the Memory Wars Trilogy and the Lady Raven Series. His short fiction has appeared in the Amazon #1 bestselling anthology, Sojourn Volume 2.