edit­ed by Lee Child
with Lau­rie R. King

How to Write a Mystery

A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America

From the most suc­cess­ful mys­tery writ­ers in the busi­ness, an invalu­able guide to craft­ing mysteries—from char­ac­ter devel­op­ment and plot to pro­ce­du­rals and thrillers—a must-have for every aspir­ing mys­tery writer.

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 new 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?”

C.M. Surrisi

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