Skip to main content

Book Review: Modus Operandi - A Writer's Guide to How Criminals Work

To give you some idea of how long ago it was between buying this book and when I actually read it, the book makes a reference to the movie Jurassic Park being currently popular in theaters. When I read it, Jurassic World was owning theaters everywhere.

Despite being published in the mid 1990s much of the information in Modus Operandi, a writer's guide to how criminals work by Mauro V. Corvasce and Joseph R. Paglino is still relevant - especially if you're writing anything set pre 1996 and want to be aware of how things were 20+ years ago.



A very useful book for anyone writing crime stories - even something as basic as a Scooby Doo style animated mystery - you'll find plenty of real world criminal behavior to structure a story around.

Types of criminals include; Arsonists, Thieves, Hijackers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, Fences, Murderers, Kidnappers, Prostitutes, Armed Robbers, Safe Crackers, Lockpickers, Smugglers, shoplifters and White Collar Criminals.

Each chapter gives a general overview of that type of criminal or crime and describes some of the motivations, along with a basic overview of how such people operate and how they might be caught out. Some of the examples are based on both author's real world experience of working as detectives for the County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey.

I'm not saying it's a manual for how to carry out the perfect crime but it could be a good starting point, and it is enough to give your fictional characters some grounding in how real criminals operate. All levels of criminals are covered from petty street criminals to organized groups and gangs.

If you just want to know the basics for each type of criminal without going too deep into every little detail this book has you covered. A great introduction for writer's just starting to explore shady characters and a very useful book to draw inspiration from if you wish to continue to write about criminal behavior.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz, (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer, a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter.

This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did.

There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this, creating something that was recognizably Eric's own style.

I've…

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which …

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc.

I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations.
I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity.
Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply change you default microphone to the installed AV…