Writing a suitable home

Settling in at home – again?


Who is to decide what ‘home’ is ‘suitable’? How does it feel to the one ‘homed’? In HOMED, the second in my Crime Shorts series, a boy is being ‘helped’ to settle to a conventional home life. Something is wrong, but it isn’t easy to work out. Is a crime imminent, or has one already happened?

One of the issues I had in mind when I wrote this was the Australian disgust in the 50s and 60s when they built standard homes for aborigines and then found that understanding and use of sanitation and housekeeping did not come automatically with the facilities provided. The sentiment was ‘it’s not worth giving them anything civilized.’ The realization that those homes were impossibly wrong for the Aborigine essential life-style and culture.


Similarly, what may seem to be a ‘nice’ solution for an individual in need may ignore aspects that are essential to him/her. As a psychologist, I often saw people before and after being homed, often for reasons thought entirely separate from the homing experience.

We have to be inside the head of our characters when writing fiction. It’s an exercise to see a situation from inside, or from a point of view not too visible.

There are crimes motivated by negative emotions: jealousy, anger, need to control/overpower. There are also crimes perpetrated by ignorance. The crimes we may feel most are those that penetrate our individuality. Blind kindness, adherence to established process, bureaucracy – these can lead to damage also.

Read this story and decide where the crime lies.


Homed. (Crime Shorts Book 2)