How to write a great mystery book

Return to Content Writing a mystery novel:

How to write a great mystery book

Either way, crime novels are popular. So where do we start? When writing crime fiction, you should almost always start with the crime. That item can be a person, an event, a relationship, a place, a belief, etc.

In crime fiction, the conceptual item is the investigation of a crime. Place the body near the beginning of your book — preferably on the first page, perhaps the first sentence.

Even if your first chapter is a fascinating character study there will be, through no fault of your own, a sense of disappointment or impatience from your reader if they expected the famous first-chapter crime. Feel free to skip backwards when you start your second chapter. Be character driven The crime is the hookbut your characters are the meat of the story.

It can be tempting to make your hero and villain servants to the actionbut the chase is only interesting if the characters are.

I think that a crime novel — like any story — succeeds or fails on the basis of character.

Plot backwards

Compelling characters chasing each other around a city will be more interesting than dull characters enacting the most fiendishly brilliant plan ever conceived. Location, Location, Location It can be convincingly argued that the more mundane the setting, the more shocking your crime will be.

Some crimes are expected, they fit our understanding of the world, and this expectation saps the natural outrage and shock you may want from your reader. The more Eden-like [the setting], the greater the contradiction of murder. The country is preferable to the town, a well-to-do neighborhood better than a slum.

Realization not revelation

The corpse must shock not only because it is a corpse but also because, even for a corpse, it is shockingly out of place, as when a dog makes a mess on a drawing room carpet.

Auden This is only partly true, in fact you could almost call it a gimmick. This view on setting is an example of dissonance, a reaction that occurs when a key aspect of a situation is the opposite of what you expected, and it can come from nearly anything in a story: Use setting to create tension and set the right mood.

how to write a great mystery book

Even if the plan is horrifying! But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! For those trying to say something about society, crime itself or the human condition, the crime can happen anywhere.

A good crime writer needs a few tricks, of course, but character is everything. No level of detail will satisfy the truly in-the-know, but criminal procedure shows are so popular that the average reader is more clued up than you might think.

Click To Tweet As a general rule, the more important something is to your story, the more thoroughly you should research it. Tom Clancy writes for a readership who have a more than average appreciation for the facts behind criminal activity. It can be tempting to get swept up in the crime itself but remember your plot needs to be absorbing as well as clever.

The reader needs to care what happens before they can truly enjoy how it happens. Crime fiction rewards skilled writers extensively.

In crime fiction, perhaps more than any other genre, you simply need to give readers an excuse to immerse themselves. Are you writing a crime story, or are you an accomplished bank robber who likes to boast? Either way, let us know in the comments below.A genre-bending mystery and thriller author shares six rules to help you write a great mystery novel.

If you know who your ultimate criminal is, you can write the whole book while posting clues and red herrings throughout because you know exactly where you’re going.

So you want to know how to write a mystery novel. First, understand the conventions of the genre: you'll need a mystery, a puzzle to solve, and it must be solved by the end.

Want to learn how to write a book from start to finish? require a great deal of setting and character description, maintaining a slow pace while keeping it. Jul 28,  · How To Write A Great Mystery Two modern-day mystery writers talk about how to create the perfect whodunit.

Tana French, author of In The Woods and The Likeness, and Louis Bayard, author of Mr. Timothy and The Pale Blue Eye, weigh in on the most important elements page-turning thrillers.

Writing a mystery novel demands that you pay attention to the ingredients of great mystery writing: Convincing plot and mood, mysterious characters, active involvement of the reader and more.

How To Write A Crime Novel Worth Reading

If you’re ready to get going on your mystery novel, join the Mystery/Thriller writers’ group on Now Novel. Oct 18,  · The 10 Best Mystery Books They revered the great British and American writers.

As a high school student, I read Shakespeare and Dickens, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. A Crime in the. Set out to write a best-selling book. James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, reveals his tricks of the trade for the very first time.

In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process. We've all read great books with terrible endings. Of the infinite possible endings, learn.

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