keep on writing

Keep on Writing!

(Keep on Writing! An order that needs to be heeded by aspiring writers) How do you go about writing a story that’s several hundred pages long? “Seriously, how do you do it? “some people ask me in astonishment, as if writing were some kind of magic and all those pages of text just erupted from […]

Writing Tips from J.A. Jance

Writing Tips from J.A. Jance

If you want to be a writer, read! Why people who don’t read books still want to write them is more than I can understand. If you want to be a writer, write what you love and respect your readers. If you look down your nose at genre fiction and are only writing a mystery […]

Researching Gangsters to Gadgets

Researching Gangsters to Gadgets

Researching Gangsters to Gadgets   To paraphrase the memorable line from the movie Goodfellas: As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to write about gangsters. The idea started when I was five years old. My grandmother, Mary, had been born in the early 1900s and told me how she grew up in […]

Nelson DeMille on Writing

Nelson DeMille on Writing, John Corey, and Digital Publishing

Nelson DeMille on Writing… TSM: Your books often have a great feel for the ongoing political climate—where do you get your news and sources of info on current events? ND: My novels have been described as geo-political thrillers, which sounds impressive.  I’m a news junkie and my major in college was Political Science and History, so […]

Tess Gerritsen's writing tips

Tess Gerritsen’s writing tips for completing a novel…

by Tess Gerritsen It invariably happens to me about halfway through a manuscript.  Inspired by an intriguing premise, I launch straight into the story, set my characters into action, throw in a few initial twists…and then I smack into a wall.  Because I have no idea what happens next in my story.  Or I don’t […]

Character Motivation and Beyond

Character Motivation and Beyond Motivation drives the decisions both of the characters and the writer throughout a plot. Books on literary analysis, such as the Norton Anthologies, often lump motivation with character and identity, whereas mystery readers have long regarded motive as a full and separate category in its own right. Carolyn Wells devoted a […]

See What I Say? The Power of Descriptive Writing

See What I Say? The Power of Descriptive Writing

See What I Say? The Power of Descriptive Writing Once, describing the silly little Argentinian films starring Eva Duarte years before she became Evita Perón, Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes wrote that those movies were so bad; they seemed to have been filmed before the invention of cinema. Oddly enough, though, at some point, the film […]

Story Trumps Structure

Story Trumps Structure

Story Trumps Structure Twelve years ago, I had an idea for a series of mysteries featuring a one-armed detective. At that time, I attended a seminar by a well-known novelist who taught us to outline our fiction carefully and meticulously and then stick to the outline as we crafted our stories. In some cases, he […]

This path isn’t for you: How to Persevere as an Author

This path isn’t for you: How to Persevere as an Author I was twenty years old when I presented my senior thesis to a room full of English majors and professors. Said thesis was a culmination of three years of creative writing efforts, fully informed by an obsession with the Romantics and Virginia Woolf, a […]

How Important is Setting to a Novel?

How Important is Setting to a Novel? One of the great pleasures of a mystery story is its setting—choosing a locale and soaking up its ambience, learning about new places and the people who live in them. When I decided to write my debut crime novel, The House on the Cliff, I set it in […]

Scott Turow’s Writing Tips

Scott Turow’s Writing Tips 1)  Write every day.  The muse only visits if you’re ready for her to arrive. 2)  If you can’t get started on a given day, re-read what you’ve done previously. 3) Don’t worry about staying in sequence.  If something sparks, write it. 4) Get a complete draft before engaging in vigorous […]