How to Write a Mystery
A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America
From 70 of the most successful mystery writers in the business, an invaluable guide to crafting mysteries—from character development and plot to procedurals and thrillers—“this is a writing guide that readers and writers will turn to again and again” (Booklist, starred review).
Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is known for providing unparalleled resources on the craft, art, and business of storytelling, helping writers of all levels improve their skills for nearly a century. Now, this handbook helps authors navigate the ever-shifting publishing landscape—from pacing, plotting, the business side of publishing, to the current demand for diversity and inclusivity across all genres, and more.
Featuring essays by a new generation of bestselling experts on various elements of the craft and shorter pieces of crowd-sourced wisdom from the MWA membership as a whole, the topics covered can be categorized as follows:
—Before Writing (rules; genres; setting; character; research; etc.)
—While Writing (outlining; the plot; dialogue; mood; etc.)
—After Writing (agents; editors; self-pub; etc.)
—Other than Novels (short stories; true crime; etc.)
—Other Considerations (diverse characters; legal questions; criticism)
Also included is a collection of essays from MWA published authors—including Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, and Charlaine Harris—selected by bestselling authors Lee Child and Laurie King and arranged thematically answering, “What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d had at the beginning of your career?”
“Everything you wanted to know about how to plan, draft, write, revise, publish, and market a mystery” (Kirkus Reviews), this inclusive manual provides practical, current, easily digestible advice for new and established authors alike.