You Can Write a Mystery

Gillian Roberts - 1999
    In Part One, she defines the genre, concentrating on core elements of the category, from developing ideas and building character profiles to researching crimes and selecting point of view. Following her examples and exercises, readers will begin to create their own story as they construct an outline filled with hooks, cliffhangers, intriguing characters and red herrings. In Part Two, she offers expert advice for editing, revising and submitting a top-notch manuscript.

Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A.

Chris Roerden - 2006
    -Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction Book-Finalist for the Anthony and the Macavity awards

Back to Creative Writing School

Bridget Whelan - 2013
    Quinn, bestselling author of the historical fiction classic The Thief Taker 'Inspiring, insightful and indispensable tool for anyone wanting to write fiction ' Sarah Rayner, novelist and author of One Moment, One Morning, officially one of the 21st century's bestselling books.'I recommend this book to all my students, and I recommend it to you. Great stuff.' Alex Pheby, Head of Creative Writing, University of Greenwich 30 imaginative exercises will stretch your writing skills and take you in new and unexpected directions.

Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform

Christina Katz - 2008
    By instructing writers in the basics of self-publicity and readership development, 'Get Known Before the Book Deal' increases their odds of landing a book deal and having greater impact on sales when their book comes out.

The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery

Robert J. Ray - 1998
    Like Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler, Sara Paretsky and Thomas Harris, you, too, can learn the trade secrets of quality detective fiction.It's true.  Just one year from now, you can deliver a completed mystery novel to a publisher--by writing only on weekends.  Authors Robert J.  Ray and Jack Remick guide you through the entire mystery-writing process, from creating a killer to polishing off the final draft.  Each weekend you'll focus on a specific task--learning the basics of novel-writing, the special demands of mystery-writing, and the secrets professionals use to create stories one scene at a time, building to a shivery, satisfying climax.  Using Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library as a model for the classical mystery tale and Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park for the hard-boiled mystery, this unique step-by-step program gives you all the information you need to reach your ultimate goal: a finished book in just 52 weeks!  Let two successful masters of the genre show you how...Discover: Why you must create your killer first The tricks to writing dialogue that does it all--moves your plot, involves your reader, and makes your style sizzle How to "bury" information (and corpses) for your reader to find Why you should NOT build your book around chapters Special techniques for clearing writer's block Plus: examples from Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, Patricia Cornwell, Thomas Harris, Raymond Chandler, and more.

Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'em Dead with Style

Hallie Ephron - 2005
    You'll learn to capitalize on your writing strengths and shore up your weaknesses.This comprehensive guide covers every aspect of mystery writing, including:planning, twisting the plot, and constructing a credible surprise endingcreating a compelling sleuth and a worthy villaindeceiving and revealing with red herrings and clueswriting investigation, spine-tingling suspense, and dramatic actionrevising - from sharpening characters, to optimizing pace, to smithing wordsengaging the readerBy the time you finish reading part one of this book, you will have a blueprint for your entire story. Parts two and three take your blueprint from idea to well-polished novel. Part four is an insider's guide to getting it into an agent's or publisher's hands.-

Meet a Jerk, Get to Work, How to Write Villains and the Occasional Hero

Jaqueline Girdner - 2011

The Man Behind the Da Vinci Code: The Unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown

Lisa Rogak - 2005
    Through personal interviews with friends and former colleagues, as well as newspaper articles and transcripts collected over the course of Brown's career, Rogak paints an insightful picture of this enigmatic author.

For Writers Only

Sophy Burnham - 1994
    The truth about the act of writing is much more varied, even violent. In fact, there seem to be as many contradictory admonitions about how to go about doing it as there are writers themselves.With that in mind, writer Sophy Burnham has collected the thoughts of some of the greatest writers and laced them with her own observations and experiences of the writer's life. With an emphasis on the emotions that writing wrings from those who practice it, Burnham writes about beginning a work prematurely, the ecstasy when the writing is really flowing, the crash that can follow the flight and how to pick yourself up and continue.Here you will find the motto Zola kept in his workroom (No day without lines), where Agatha Christie plotted her books (in the bathtub eating apples), and what James Thurber's wife replied when a dinner guest observed a strange expression on her husband's face (Don't be concerned. He's only writing). Most of all, you will be reassured, enlightened, and inspired to learn that, in your own writing struggles, you are not alone.

The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations To Cultivate A Productive And Meaningful Writing Life

Fred White - 2008
    Hectic schedules, distractions, and creative blocks all too often interrupt the dream - postpone it for another day.But with 366 provocative entries - each addressing a specific facet of the writing craft, and accompanied by an in-depth reflection and a stimulating exercise - The Daily Writer provides you with easy entry points into that elusive space where words matter most and helps you to embrace writing as a way of seeing the world.Whether you're looking for a way to better integrate writing into your life, get warmed up before you dive into a bigger work in progress, or overcome an old case of writer's block, The Daily Writer can help you establish and maintain an inspired devotion to the craft.

The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time

Joseph Bates - 2010
    William Faulkner was a postmaster. Stephen King taught high school English, John Grisham was an attorney, and Toni Morrison worked in publishing. Though romantic fantasies of the writing life don't often include a day job, the fact is that most writers have one.If you find yourself among them, stealing moments late at night, early in the morning, or on your lunch break to write, "The Nighttime Novelist" is your guide--on call any hour to help. Divided into quick mini lessons to make the most of your precious writing time, this book offers: Technique instruction that breaks down the elements of the novel--from crafting your protagonist to successful plotting and pacingHurdle lessons that help you anticipate and overcome roadblocks, so you can keep your productivity and your story on trackGoing Deeper explorations that provide guidance on the more nuanced aspects of storytelling, so you can take your work to the next level Try It Out assignments and more than 25 interactive worksheets that help you apply the lessons to your own project Whether you're just beginning your novel, wondering how to navigate its middle, or bringing it to a close, you'll find the instruction, exercises, and support you need to keep your story moving forward every time you sit down to write.

Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors

Bill Bryson - 2008
    Covering spelling, capitalization, plurals, hyphens, abbreviations, and foreign names and phrases, Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors will be an indispensable companion for all who care enough about our language not to maul, misuse, or contort it.As Bill Bryson notes, “English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, full of quirks and irregularities that often seem willfully at odds with logic and common sense.” This dictionary is an essential guide to the wonderfully disordered thing that is the English language.

The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience

Chuck Wendig - 2013

Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life

Robert Benson - 2012
    More than a primer on effective writing, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a winsome guide to the place in the heart where the life of the spirit meets the life of art. “Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a pure delight to read. Encouraging, honest, practical, and important. I needed this book.”—Melody Carlson, author of more 200 books including Finding Alice  “With deceptive simplicity and an almost seductive easiness in his voice, Benson lays open before us the filigreed mystique of the writing life in all its beauty, its unmitigated angst, and its inescapable vocation.”—Phyllis Tickle, author of numerous books including The Divine Hours “Robert Benson’s Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a gem. It is wise, witty, and inspiring—a trifecta seldom achieved by a book on the writing life.”—James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure After some forty years and nearly twenty books, I have learned I do not know about a lot of things, but I do know how to write a book. Some of these things are habits stolen from other writers, writers far better than I am. Some are disciplines I stumbled upon to feed both the caliber of the writing and the work of being a writer. Some of them are practices I discovered on my own after years of dancing on the head of a pen.—Robert Benson The Life of the Spirit Meets the Life of Art A compelling combination of advice and inspiration, Dancing on the Head of a Pen will challenge and encourage writers, artists, musicians, painters—anyone drawn to a life of artistic expression.  Digging deeply into his own writing habits, failures, and successes, Robert Benson helps you choose the ideal audience for your work, commit to it, and overcome the hurdles that inevitably confront both aspiring artists and accomplished professionals. Extending beyond the craft of writing, this gentle book moves into a rich discussion on the relationship between spirituality and art. Including wisdom from revered writers past and present, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a beautiful mosaic of inspiration, practical help, and a glimpse into the disciplines that shape one writer’s life.

The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist

Dorothy L. Sayers - 1995
    Sayers offered a first glimpse of the novel that launched one of our most admired detectives, Lord Peter Wimsey. Here is the long-desired collection of intimate thoughts and ideas that shaped the early years of this remarkable writer. These letters paint a revealing portrait of one of the most fascinating women of our time.