Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and the Writing of Fiction by Paul Barber, Mary Zirin, Elizabeth Barber (2013). Writers of fiction learn early about the advantages of creating a story with a setting rich in highly differentiated characters. Army barracks have greater possibilities for constant drama than, say, an isolated lighthouse with a single occupant. No matter how exciting the lighthouse keeper, the author needs something more communicative than stone and water in the vicinity of the hero to create a lively story. In fact, it would take some kind of genius to write a lively story about stone and water — but we will get to him in due course.