How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript

How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript

by James N. Frey
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Hardcover(First Edition)

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Overview

How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript by James N. Frey

Edgar award nominee James N. Frey, author of the internationally best-selling books on the craft of writing, How to Write a Damn Good Novel, How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques, and The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth, has now written what is certain to become the standard "how to" book for mystery writing, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery.

Frey urges writers to aim high-not to try to write a good-enough-to-get-published mystery, but a damn good mystery. A damn good mystery is first a dramatic novel, Frey insists-a dramatic novel with living, breathing characters-and he shows his readers how to create a living, breathing, believable character who will be clever and resourceful, willful and resolute, and will be what Frey calls "the author of the plot behind the plot."

Frey then shows, in his well-known, entertaining, and accessible (and often humorous) style , how the characters-the entire ensemble, including the murderer, the detective, the authorities, the victims, the suspects, the witnesses and the bystanders-create a complete and coherent world.

Exploring both the on-stage action and the behind-the-scenes intrigue, Frey shows prospective writers how to build a fleshed-out, believable, and logical world. He shows them exactly which parts of that world show up in the pages of a damn good mystery-and which parts are held back just long enough to keep the reader guessing.

This is an indispensable step-by-step guide for anyone who's ever dreamed of writing a damn good mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312304461
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/28/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 662,462
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

James N. Frey is the author of internationally bestselling books on the craft of fiction writing, including How to Write a Damn Good Novel, How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques, and The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth. He is also the author of nine novels, including the Edgar Award-nominated The Long Way to Die. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Extension, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Oregon Writers' Colony, and he is a featured speaker at writers' conferences throughout the United States and Europe. Former students include recent Anthony award-nominees Betty Winkleman and Cara Black, and many best-selling authors including Marjorie Reynolds, Melba Beals, and April Sinclair.

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How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. You read right along with the author as he creates a mystery novel, step by step. He teaches you how to create characters with depth by writing a detailed background and having your characters write a journal. He starts with the murderer, the plot behind the plot, then takes you on to your hero/detective and each of your other characters. You learn to write a plot by using a stepsheet. I especially found helpful the fact that you write a stepsheet for what the reader sees and what the reader does not see 'what is happening offstage'. You learn about the five act design in which a mystery novel is divided. The author then gives helpful pointers in writing good prose, writing the mystery scene, choosing viewpoint, the final steps in rewriting, and then some words on marketing your novel. I found this book enjoyable to read and very helpful in writing a mystery or any novel. It's one of the best 'How to Write' books I've read because it's so practical in how it teaches you to write a mystery novel. It would be a great resource in any writer's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books on writing that I've read. I tend to get a ton of ideas, then drown in how to organize and present them. This book takes a writer step by step in wrangling those ideas into a compelling narrative.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book that has me fired up. Out of 300 like books this one is outstanding! Read it and write!