Holmes and Watson are two of the most recognisable names in fiction and, as such, pretty much guarantee an audience for anything in which they feature. Yet there must be a point where the differences between the version of the characters you are reading about and the source material get sufficiently far apart to justify the accusation that the writer is simply trading on the name(s) to guarantee interest.
|Is animal Sherlock too far?|
Where is that point?
Ideally, a story should sell itself on its premise. Yet, with a series, stories invariably sell on the presence of a recurring character (or characters). Sherlock Holmes epitomises this and the same situation later applied to Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Albert Campion, Endeavour Morse and so on.
When a writer decides to pen a new Holmes and Watson story is it because they really believe the story suits the characters or is it an indication that they lack faith in their story and want to insert famous names to guarantee some readers? Even if the characters bearing those names are somewhat removed from the originals (an idea that Dame Jean Conan Doyle strongly believed in).
|Is female Sherlock too far?|
Exactly. Yet he would have been remembered if he'd produced a series of Holmes stories.
So what separates a "true" Holmes and Watson from characters simply trading on the name? Is it gender, ethnicity, character traits, nationality, time period?
Written by Alistair DuncanBuy my books here