The Art of Sleuthing

This is from an interview about how sleuthing is a lot like art.

1. In what way is sleuthing an art form?
In many art forms (painters and sculptors, for example) the artist brings things together different (and sometimes random) elements to create something new. A photographer sees things that others miss and captures it on “film”. Musicians many times must uncover what notes are being played and find a way to fit their part in. When you think about it, all of the things that makes a person an artist are similar to what makes someone a sleuth.

2. What are some personality traits make a person a good detective?
Obviously, being observant is good. Curiosity is key. A person who likes puzzles and enjoys solving problems. Being able to work well under pressure is important. It is helpful to have a good memory or be highly organized. Patience is a virtue for the detective because a lot of times there is a lot of waiting and relying on others to finish their investigations before you can complete yours. It’s better to be able to comfortably talk to strangers than have to rely on others to do it. Quick thinking is also important.

3. Is it possible to learn to become a super sleuth?
Yes. People can practice being observant on a daily basis. The more you pay attention to details (many that others miss) the better you get at it. Solving problems can also be a daily part of your routine. When something bugs you think about ways to improve the situation–even though you may never use these ideas. Interview others and ask them to tell you things that are true and some that are untrue and see if you can pick up the clues when someone is lying to you. Study Sherlock Holmes and other great detectives to see how they do it, and emulate them.

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The Art of Sleuthing

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