How to Write a Mystery

( 1 )

Overview

WHODUNIT? YOUDUNIT!
So you want to write a mystery. There's more to it than just a detective, a dead body, and Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the candlestick. Fortunately, Larry Beinhart--Edgar Award-winning author of You Get What You Pay For, Foreign Exchange, and American Hero--has taken a break from writing smart, suspenseful thrillers to act as your guide through all the twists and turns of creating the twists and turns of a good ...
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How to Write a Mystery

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Overview

WHODUNIT? YOUDUNIT!
So you want to write a mystery. There's more to it than just a detective, a dead body, and Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the candlestick. Fortunately, Larry Beinhart--Edgar Award-winning author of You Get What You Pay For, Foreign Exchange, and American Hero--has taken a break from writing smart, suspenseful thrillers to act as your guide through all the twists and turns of creating the twists and turns of a good mystery.
Drawing on advice and examples from a host of the best names in mystery writing--from Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane to Scott Turow and Thomas Harris--plus some of his own prime plots, Larry Beinhart introduces you to your most indispensable partners in crime:
*Character, plot, and procedure

• The secrets to creating heroes, heroines, and villains ("All writers draw upon themselves and their experience. While the whole of yourself might not be capable of being either a serial killer or an FBI agent, there are parts in each of us that are capable of almost anything.")

• The fine art of scripting the sex scene
*The low-down on violence ("A crime novel without violence is like smoking pot without inhaling, sex without orgasm, or a hug without a squeeze." )
*And much more!
From the opening hook to the final denouement, Larry Beinhart takes the mystery out of being a mystery writer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The best place to start is always at the beginning, and How to Write a Mystery has all you need to know to get started. Written by Edgar Award-winning author Larry Beinhart, who uses advice and examples from such luminaries in the field as Raymond Chandler and Scott Turow, this book covers a broad range of topics relevant to writing a mystery. Whether you want to learn about constructing scenes, basic plotting, creating your protagonist, or choosing between a cozy or a hard-boiled, this book is the quintessential guide to crafting a mystery.
Library Journal
In this entertaining and instructive guide to writing mysteries, Edgar Award-winning mystery writer Beinhart (No One Rides for Free, Avon, 1987) covers such subjects as narrative drive, plotting, openings, character development, and a host of other writerly techniques. He includes many examples from his favorite mystery writers, among them Le Carr, Higgins, Fleming, and Beinhart's wife, Gillian Farrell. The style is chatty and breezy and the content informative. This is not really a step-by-step manual but a book that writers and would-be writers might turn to for advice and a thoughtful discussion of a particular problem area. Recommended for public libraries and academic libraries supporting writing programs.Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345397584
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 667,224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Joy of Genre 1
1 Narrative Drive 17
2 Plotting 24
3 Openings 44
4 Scene Construction 51
5 Hooks & Tales 56
6 Clarity 60
7 Sex 68
8 Violence 74
9 Finding Material & Characters 79
10 Character 85
11 Heroes & Heroines 112
12 Procedure 123
13 What Is Action? 127
14 Dialogue 130
15 Details & Descriptions 140
16 Subject Matter 150
17 Research & Details 155
18 Themes 162
19 First Person, Third Person 164
20 From Cozies to Crime Novels 174
21 Editors & Editing 182
22 Promotion & Self-Promotion, Career, Luck & Sincerity, Agents, Miscellaneous Rules 190
23 Better 199
24 Doing It 205
25 Writing Teachers/Writing Books 210
Chapter Last: Can You Write a Book Following These Instructions? 215
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