Greg Cox wrote:
On the other hand, I found the lab scenes worked better if there were two people in the room, so you could at least have some dialogue and character interaction going, instead of just describing a single character carrying out a procedure and making a discovery, which could come off as dry and textbooky.
Well, sure, it's good to have character interaction so the scene isn't just about the technicalities, but their conversation should be about more personal stuff or their emotional reaction to the case rather than lecturing each other about the science that they both already know. Instead of:
"Hey, look, there are twelve common alleles. As you know, Wendy, that means they must share a common parent."
"Wow! That means her gardener is actually her brother!"
It would be more like:
"Hey, look, there are twelve common alleles."
"Wow," Wendy said, instantly recognizing the significance: they shared a common parent. "That means her gardener is actually her brother!"
On the show, of course, you've got the snazzy montages and visuals and music to make spinning test tubes visually exciting to watch, but you don't really have that option in prose!
I've often thought that CSI
had a lot in common with Mission: Impossible
(the show, not the movies): They're both heavily procedural shows in which extended sequences of characters wordlessly performing technical work are livened with a heavy emphasis on musical accompaniment, albeit with profoundly different musical and editorial styles. I think there were some M:I novels back in the day; I wonder how they handled the long technical/procedural stuff.