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February 10 , 2009

The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime


A glance at any best-seller list will tell you how popular mystery, crime and thrillers are with readers. Most of you will find this perfectly understandable! There's nothing like the thrill of the chase and the intellectual challenge of trying to guess 'whodunit' or 'whydunit' before the sleuth. 

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If ever there was a stark contrast to the fun of the retro scene with its rockabilly fun and gorgeous little homes on wheels, it would have to be preppers, stockpiling food and waiting for the Apocalypse. It’s not a scene that Georgie has ever had much to do with, until her brother Jerry starts specializing in building Bug-Out vehicles and selling…

If you're the writer, this presents you with a challenge. You have to juggle a lot of balls at once. You need to: 

  • come up with an intriguing mystery (or an edge-of-the-seat thriller) that will keep readers up long past bedtime
  • keep your sleuth busy tracking down the perpetrator
  • weave in and bring to life other significant characters
  • leave a trail of not-too-obvious clues (trying to pull the wool over the reader's eyes), and 
  • walk in the shoes of the villain, ensuring that he is a worthy opponent. 

Oh, and did I mention that you also have to write tight scenes, build the suspense, create believable conflict, and choose the correct viewpoint as well?!!! Not to mention the research... 

It's a good thing this is all covered in The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime!

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