crime

Tips for Writing Crime and Mystery Fiction

My father fell in love with the Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun with little incentive. A long time cat lover, mystery novels involving a cat that seemed to solve the crimes, as well as about cat lovers (for the most part), was right up his reading alley. Like many, he gobbled them up as soon as each one was released.

Writing mysteries and crimes is a long-held tradition in storytelling and publishing. We have some members of Writers in the Grove who are steadfast fans of the genre.

Here are some tips on writing crime and mystery fiction to tickle your fancy and keep you up at night – reading.

5 Killer Tips For Writing Deadly Crime Fiction – Molly Greene: Writer: Molly Greene is the author of the popular Gen Delacourt Mysteries series. In this great summary of tips, she offers legendary advice:

Open with a bang or a body.

Think James Bond. Or Agatha Christie. James Patterson. Or Garry Rodgers. AK-47s. Or dismembered hookers. Biological bombs. Or a corpse hanging from a meat-hook. A sharp hook… which is the oldest storytelling device and still the best.

You’ve got about ten seconds to hook your reader and keep their face in the page. So start off fast and slowly add backstory. Build it up, then end with a bang. Maybe another body, too.

Among the many tips offered by the following articles is advice that applies to all forms of writing: don’t be boring, edit well, don’t write likeable characters, have plenty of conflict, have a very compelling and damaged detective/investigator, and know exactly what your story is about while you are teasing the reader along the journey.

Advertisements

Prompt: I Fit the Description

The prompt this week was inspired by the blog post by Steve Locke called “I fit the description….” The photograph taken by the author features him wearing a knit cap, sunglasses, hoody covered by a jacket, slacks, fashion tennis shoes, and a Boston College faculty identity card on a lanyard, which the article describes in more depth.

This is what I wore to work today.

On my way to get a burrito before work, I was detained by the police.

I noticed the police car in the public lot behind Centre Street. As I was walking away from my car, the cruiser followed me. I walked down Centre Street and was about to cross over to the burrito place and the officer got out of the car.

“Hey my man,” he said.

He unsnapped the holster of his gun.

I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Yes?” I said.

“Where you coming from?”

“Home.”

Where’s home?”

“Dedham.”

How’d you get here?”

“I drove.”

He was next to me now. Two other police cars pulled up. I was standing in from of the bank across the street from the burrito place. I was going to get lunch before I taught my 1:30 class. There were cops all around me.

I said nothing. I looked at the officer who addressed me. He was white, stocky, bearded.

“You weren’t over there, were you?” He pointed down Centre Street toward Hyde Square.

“No. I came from Dedham.”

“What’s your address?”

I told him.

“We had someone matching your description just try to break into a woman’s house.”

Inspired by the post, the Monday morning workshop group wrote on the subject of prejudice, false accusations, assumptions, and profiling.