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Eight Great Books About Writing

  My 8 Favorite Books on Writing   Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain It was written all the way back in 1974, but this is my favorite book on the list. So much good advice in here, but the best is: Move a story along quickly by making sure you have two […]

Writing Suspense like Alfred Hitchcock

Writing Suspense Like Alfred Hitchcock

  Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author, Tony Lee Moral, offers some advice for aspiring suspense writers as he breaks down a few key techniques for writing suspense like Alfred Hitchcock.        What suspense techniques did Hitchcock use that are applicable for fiction writers? Hitchcock gave the audience more information than the character to […]

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Can Good Writing Be Taught?

To celebrate the release of her newest novel, Last Night, Karen Ellis reflects on what makes great fiction writing and how to discover and unleash the voice within. It’s an old question and generally the answer is “No.” And yet I’ve been teaching creative writing for twenty-five years—teaching, or leading, workshops in basic fiction writing, suspense, […]

Four Crime Genres, Four Techniques to get you that Contract!

Four Crime Genres, Four Techniques to get you that Contract!

Four Crime Genres, Four Techniques to get you that Contract!   Psychological suspense, thrillers, horror, and mystery are popular subjects for a lot of genre writers. Yet all writers are already intimately familiar with these topics; so much of a writer’s life is an everyday encounter with most if not all of them. Supernatural self-belief, […]

“And the winner is…”

“And the winner is…”

“And the winner is…” A reflection on writing success   I was pretty sure I’d win. After all, I’d been writing for six years—mostly for curriculum publishers and magazines, and I was confident that I really had my act together. The writers’ conference I was attending had a short-story-writing contest and, thankfully for me, although […]

The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research

Writing Tip: The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research

The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research   Reconstructing a Family Member’s Life Story through Newspaper Research   As a family history researcher with almost twenty years of experience, I can say that genealogy research sites and online databases are better now than ever. And with all sorts of new technology designed especially for family […]

For Mystery writers: The top ten pitfalls and overused cliches...

For Mystery writers: The Top Ten pitfalls and overused cliches…

For Mystery writers: The top ten pitfalls and overused cliches… I’m a suspense author; I write legal thrillers, courtroom dramas. In addition to writing thrillers, I read them. A lot of them. Because suspense, mysteries, thrillers—that’s my idea of a good time. But as I’ve read these stories over the years, there are some themes […]

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 […]