November/December 2013 Issue
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How to Write a Mystery, Writing Thrillers
Trying your hand at writing thrillers – the most exciting and suspenseful of all genres? Look no further for guidelines on crafting a compelling plot, creating incredible characters, constructing an airtight mystery, and much more.
When my father was a little boy, one of the last of the touring vaudeville companies came through his podunk town, and he got to see the show. The centerpiece was a … Read more
The following is an online-exclusive extended version of the interview that appears in the November/December issue of WD. Click here to order the issue—or click here to download a digital version instantly … Read more
Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. All … Read more
1. WRITE MINI BIOS FOR YOUR DREAM CAST Make a list of characters you either might want to write about or have begun to write about. Three or four will do. Fill … Read more
The writing world is abuzz with one word these days—and that word is “platform.” But many writers are left wondering: What the heck is a platform? Why do I even need one? … Read more
1. How long have you been writing? How did you start? I’ve loved writing since I learned to put letters together to form words, but I’ve only recently begun attempting to make … Read more
We’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem … Read more
In the English countryside they have stone walls to keep in the sheep. Some of these walls have been around for centuries, and they’re amazing architectural achievements. The flat stones are not … Read more
Think velociraptors on distant islands. Murderous gorillas guarding fields of diamonds. Dramatic doctors tending to trauma patients galore. Even if you never read him, you probably recognize the intense imagery he created … Read more
When Brad Thor’s novel The Last Patriot debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list, people around the thriller writer told him life was going to change now that … Read more
People often confuse the mystery and thriller genres. While it’s true that they often overlap, there’s a distinct difference: A mystery follows an intellectual protagonist who puts together clues to solve a … Read more
At the Maui Writers Conference, bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow: 1. There are no rules. You can do anything … Read more
Bestselling crime novelist George Pelecanos took the axiom “write what you know” to heart in the early days of his career. A Firing Offense, the first of his 15 published novels, stars … Read more
Some years ago the fine short story writer Raymond Carver offered recollections about learning to write from teacher and novelist John Gardner. “I remember him as being very patient,” Carver wrote in … Read more
The opening of a short story or novel is just that—the very beginning. That’s the simple and straightforward definition. However, what this book is really concerned with is illustrating the differences between … Read more
1. Don’t edit. You’re shooting for something more ambitious than pretty sentences: an entire first draft of a book, in all its imperfect glory. You have to embrace November as an experiment … Read more
How many times have you heard this around the workshop table: “Why don’t you consider a new point of view?” (Actually, the term used more often is “POV” because it sounds a … Read more
Your heart is slamming against your rib cage, your fingertips are moist and you turn another page. The antagonist is setting up a trap. You wish you could do something to prevent … Read more
THE ESSENTIAL PROCESS OF LAYERING In his book The House You Build: Making Real-World Choices to Get the Home You Want, architect Duo Dickinson suggests several crucial principles in successful planning and … Read more
Buy book | Amazon | BN.com From First Draft to Finished Novel A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building by Karen S. Wiesner Writer’s Digest Books, 2008 ISBN 978-1-58297-551-1 $19.99 paperback, 272 … Read more