I often hear fans of murder mysteries say, "I'd like to write one someday." So, here are some tips that I have. These are not rules. I am not in any position to make rules for anything. These are just some beliefs I have. 1. Write off the page. More than any other genre, mysteries… Continue reading 10 tips for writing a murder mystery
Upon seeing the Coen brothers The Man Who Wasn't There, Michel Ciment (The famous French critic) lamented, "A 90-minute film that plays for 2 hours." If you have seen the film, you know he was not complaining about its length. The Man Who Wasn't There is 90 minutes of plot and a full 30 minutes… Continue reading Imitation
If you've read Goodnight Irene, you are well aware of my use of humor regardless of the situation. I don't think humor is an element that should be saved for comedies. If two characters are fond of each other, they're going to laugh...even when investigating a murder. That's just common sense. Of course, the humor… Continue reading How far will I take a joke?
In January (I think) I sent a penultimate draft to an editor for a developmental edit. I was happy about the plot mechanics but a bit worried about the pace. He wrote back, "Jesus, you killed an ___ ______." I was so struck by the words, I included them in the final draft. He also… Continue reading How Many Murders Before the Mystery is too Grim?