Five Tips for Writing a Compelling Legal Thriller

Five Tips for Writing a Compelling Legal Thriller   Courtroom Scenes Are Inherently Dramatic. A courtroom can provide a perfect locale for drama and tension. Events take place in a confined space. Authors can “play to the jury” while playing with readers’ expectations, allowing the suspense to build. Judges can be depicted as people who […]

Writers and Day Jobs

Writers and Day Jobs

Writers and Day Jobs A writer’s gotta have a day job. I knew that going in.   I was in high school back then, learning about the Civil War and differential calculus and the reproductive system of the earthworm. It was important stuff, all of it. Earthworms are hermaphrodites. They have both male and female […]

Jeff Abbott's Top Ten Writing Tips

Jeff Abbott’s Top Ten Writing Tips

Jeff Abbott’s Top Ten Writing Tips I think we’ve entered a time when we’re a lot more suspicious of writing advice than we used to be. A lot of writing chestnuts feel prescriptive to too many people—not everyone can write every day; sometimes, yes, you want to tell rather than show; passive voice isn’t inherently […]

Thirst: On Writing, Harry, & Flying Jumbo Jets by Jo Nesbø

Thirst: On Writing, Harry, & Flying Jumbo Jets by Jo Nesbø (Excerpts)

What am I thinking when I set out to write a book? First of all, I think it’s impossible. It’s impossible to transform my thoughts and feelings into letters that can convey them to a reader without losing most of—and the most important parts of—their meaning. And it’s definitely  impossible for these vague, sound-mimicking symbols to […]

The Long Shadow of Raymond Chandler...

The Long Shadow of Raymond Chandler…

   The Long Shadow of Raymond Chandler… Raymond Chandler changed my life. I was assigned to read The Long Goodbye for class, and although only five chapters were assigned, I devoured the whole book in one night. As a young writer, I wasn’t sure what sort of stories I wanted to write, but Chandler’s prose, […]

Tweet This: Social Media's Impact on Fiction

Tweet This: Social Media Has a big impact on Nonfiction

Tweet This: Social Media Has a big impact on Nonfiction   The benefit of writing a nonfiction mystery story this way is that you can transport the reader into the narrative so they get lost in its pages. One of the best techniques to draw the reader in is to paint a picture of what […]

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be   Years ago, I attended a writers’ conference. After my speech was over, I sat in on a talk given by a writing professor, and what she said has stayed with me ever since. A woman in the audience lamented that she wanted to write, […]

Mission Create Compelling Plots

YOUR MISSION: CREATE COMPELLING PLOTS

YOUR MISSION: CREATE COMPELLING PLOTS   Sheesh! Give me a more difficult question, please! I’ve been writing novels for over 30 years, and I can tell you how to be a soccer referee or fly an ILS approach to minimums, but explaining and taking apart plot requires some thought. But as all of us authors […]