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Now Write! Mysteries: Suspense, Crime, Thriller, and Other Mystery Fiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers

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The essential handbook for writers of whodunits, techno- thrillers, cozies, and everything in between-featuring never-before- published personal writing exercises from some of today's bestselling and award-winning mystery writers. Now Write! Mysteries, the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! writing guide series, brings together numerous bestselling authors-includin The essential handbook for writers of whodunits, techno- thrillers, cozies, and everything in between-featuring never-before- published personal writing exercises from some of today's bestselling and award-winning mystery writers. Now Write! Mysteries, the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! writing guide series, brings together numerous bestselling authors-including winners of and nominees for the Edgar, Hugo, and Shamus awards,-for the definitive guide to writing mysteries, thrillers, and suspense stories. Now Write! Mysteries teaches you everything you've ever wanted to know about crafting a page-turning mystery-from creating a believable detective hero (or terrifying villain), to using real-life cutting-edge investigative techniques to bring your story to life-with practical exercises taken directly from the pros: Discover the best techniques for seamlessly integrating action into your story with John Lutz, New York Times-bestselling author of Urge to Kill, Night Kills, and Serial. Learn how to fine-tune your sense of place and setting with Louise Penny, New York Times-bestselling author of the Armand Gamache mysteries. Take advice from Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of Sleepers and writer/producer for Law & Order, on how to compose a scene that lives up to your character's backstory. Let Marcia Talley, Agatha- and Anthony-winning author of the Hannah Ives mysteries, show you how to build a memorable, engaging detective. (Hint: It's not about making him flawless.) No other mystery-writing guide offers the road tested wisdom of so many award-winners and bestselling authors in one place.


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The essential handbook for writers of whodunits, techno- thrillers, cozies, and everything in between-featuring never-before- published personal writing exercises from some of today's bestselling and award-winning mystery writers. Now Write! Mysteries, the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! writing guide series, brings together numerous bestselling authors-includin The essential handbook for writers of whodunits, techno- thrillers, cozies, and everything in between-featuring never-before- published personal writing exercises from some of today's bestselling and award-winning mystery writers. Now Write! Mysteries, the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! writing guide series, brings together numerous bestselling authors-including winners of and nominees for the Edgar, Hugo, and Shamus awards,-for the definitive guide to writing mysteries, thrillers, and suspense stories. Now Write! Mysteries teaches you everything you've ever wanted to know about crafting a page-turning mystery-from creating a believable detective hero (or terrifying villain), to using real-life cutting-edge investigative techniques to bring your story to life-with practical exercises taken directly from the pros: Discover the best techniques for seamlessly integrating action into your story with John Lutz, New York Times-bestselling author of Urge to Kill, Night Kills, and Serial. Learn how to fine-tune your sense of place and setting with Louise Penny, New York Times-bestselling author of the Armand Gamache mysteries. Take advice from Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of Sleepers and writer/producer for Law & Order, on how to compose a scene that lives up to your character's backstory. Let Marcia Talley, Agatha- and Anthony-winning author of the Hannah Ives mysteries, show you how to build a memorable, engaging detective. (Hint: It's not about making him flawless.) No other mystery-writing guide offers the road tested wisdom of so many award-winners and bestselling authors in one place.

30 review for Now Write! Mysteries: Suspense, Crime, Thriller, and Other Mystery Fiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz Lipperman

    This was an awesome book both for a seasoned as well as a beginning mystery author. I especially enjoyed the exercises at the end of each chapter. Getting writing advice from some of the most successful mystery authors in the business was eye-opening, even to me, a published mystery author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz Fenwick

    There are some brilliant essays and writing exercises in this book. I don't write...mysteries, crime or thrillers but I do want to write page turning books and this book contains different views on how to achieve this...it's a good book to dip in and out of... There are some brilliant essays and writing exercises in this book. I don't write...mysteries, crime or thrillers but I do want to write page turning books and this book contains different views on how to achieve this...it's a good book to dip in and out of...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    At first I wasn't sure if I would like the format. Each "chapter" is written by a different author and is usually a couple pages of advice on a particular subject followed by an exercise. I thought maybe the book would be nothing but writing exercises with little in the way of guidance, but that's really not the case. It's about half & half, which works out pretty well. The fact that the advice is coming from published authors is extremely helpful. Plus you're getting advice from many people ins At first I wasn't sure if I would like the format. Each "chapter" is written by a different author and is usually a couple pages of advice on a particular subject followed by an exercise. I thought maybe the book would be nothing but writing exercises with little in the way of guidance, but that's really not the case. It's about half & half, which works out pretty well. The fact that the advice is coming from published authors is extremely helpful. Plus you're getting advice from many people instead of one individual. The advice ranges from excellent to subpar, but combined you get a big picture view on writing a compelling novel. Just like the advice, the quality of the exercises varies. The good news is that there are a ton of exercises. You could hate half of them and still have more than enough to help you. Personally, I liked to read through this whenever I felt writer's block creeping up. It really helped me clear my head and start writing. Sometimes it felt more like advertising or narcissism than advice. Some of the authors talk up their own novels as a shining example of whatever their topic is. Plenty of the writers take the opportunity to include excerpts from all their novels with little else. It's annoying when you read one chapter where the author dissects a classic and explains what they did right, or really takes the time to break down a concept for the readers, then the next chapter is basically "You need to writer something evocative and transcendent. Just look at this excerpt from my latest book!." I understand that promoting their name was probably why all these authors agreed to participate, but it's disappointing to see half-hearted attempts. Also, some of the advice is impractical. I remember one author talking about how she visited NYC to get to know the city before writing her novel. It's true - visiting a place will certainly help you write about it, but it's still bad advice. 1.) It's obvious. It would be like telling me that I should buy a computer if I want to edit a word document. 2.) It's impractical. Not everyone can just hop on a plane and take a vacation in the name of research. Despite the nitpicks, I liked the book overall. Some chapters are completely useless, but there are enough fantastic entries and exercises to justify buying the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I like that the "chapters" are so short-- I am picking out a few of them to show to my students when we write fiction in the fall. Varying difficulty level, but I appreciated the concise and practical ones. I like that the "chapters" are so short-- I am picking out a few of them to show to my students when we write fiction in the fall. Varying difficulty level, but I appreciated the concise and practical ones.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Edmund

    Now Write! Mysteries provides a whopping ~350 pages of exercises on writing mysterious, thrillers and crime fiction, that are bound to improve your writing, spark creativity and move your manuscript further towards brilliance. Unfortunately the contributors were also allowed a page or two of explanation before each exercise, which tended to err towards autobiography (not why I read the book) and discussion of the authors own work (only slightly helpful.) Eventually these parts simply blurred into Now Write! Mysteries provides a whopping ~350 pages of exercises on writing mysterious, thrillers and crime fiction, that are bound to improve your writing, spark creativity and move your manuscript further towards brilliance. Unfortunately the contributors were also allowed a page or two of explanation before each exercise, which tended to err towards autobiography (not why I read the book) and discussion of the authors own work (only slightly helpful.) Eventually these parts simply blurred into one, and were skim-read, which detracted from the good bits, which could have concisely presented in a 150 page book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Great advice and exercises on writing. Applicable to all kinds of fiction.

  7. 4 out of 5

    NePo

    Some books are bad, others should be published at all. This is the second kind of book. Each chapter of the book is written by different author. Because authors have only a few pages they give the most generic advice ever in advice giving history. You can get better advices about writing on Instagram. Don't buy this book. Some books are bad, others should be published at all. This is the second kind of book. Each chapter of the book is written by different author. Because authors have only a few pages they give the most generic advice ever in advice giving history. You can get better advices about writing on Instagram. Don't buy this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Burnham

    An educational read. Well worth the time spent reading this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lissa Johnston

    Great info. Resulted in twenty pages of handwritten notes. Looking forward to the Screenwriting and Fiction books in this series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This is a very good text with a bunch of essays and exercises from notable authors and teachers. I felt it was a little dry to read for long periods of time, though.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Shay

    Some of the exercises were actually quite useful. I haven't even done any yet and I already have some more ideas for my current novel and a more solid frame work for it. However, a lot of the essays, if not the exercises themselves, were quite similar and repetitive, particularly regarding the importance of setting and "show, don't tell." While I highly agree that both of these are important, considering the number of authors contributing to this work, I was hoping for a more diverse range of to Some of the exercises were actually quite useful. I haven't even done any yet and I already have some more ideas for my current novel and a more solid frame work for it. However, a lot of the essays, if not the exercises themselves, were quite similar and repetitive, particularly regarding the importance of setting and "show, don't tell." While I highly agree that both of these are important, considering the number of authors contributing to this work, I was hoping for a more diverse range of topics discussed. I was surprised to find any topic mentioned more than once; yes there is a formula of sorts for mystery writing, but there are so many successful authors that have to do it differently from each other--certainly they could find something else equally as important to write on?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hein

    I picked up Now Write! Mysteries while browsing the stacks in my local public library. The collection of advice from different mystery and thriller authors is varied and chock full of useful advice. I like to start my writing day with a bit of reading, and this book was perfect for that purpose. Each of the chapters takes only a few minutes to read and has useful exercises to illustrate the authors point. If you are looking for concise, actionable advice on how to improve your mystery writing, t I picked up Now Write! Mysteries while browsing the stacks in my local public library. The collection of advice from different mystery and thriller authors is varied and chock full of useful advice. I like to start my writing day with a bit of reading, and this book was perfect for that purpose. Each of the chapters takes only a few minutes to read and has useful exercises to illustrate the authors point. If you are looking for concise, actionable advice on how to improve your mystery writing, this is a good choice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    R

    This is the first Rick Mofina thriller that I have read, and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote him a note to tell him so. I love mysteries and thrillers and his pacing was great in the book. He has crafted a fast tale with interesting characters, that you can keep up with, and unlike other mysteries you don't jump too far ahead of the narrators to solve the problem. He did throw a few curves in the ending and I really enjoyed that. David Morrell also endorsed him and I enjoy his writing as well, This is the first Rick Mofina thriller that I have read, and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote him a note to tell him so. I love mysteries and thrillers and his pacing was great in the book. He has crafted a fast tale with interesting characters, that you can keep up with, and unlike other mysteries you don't jump too far ahead of the narrators to solve the problem. He did throw a few curves in the ending and I really enjoyed that. David Morrell also endorsed him and I enjoy his writing as well, so I've picked up some more books and look forward to reading them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Worrell

    Great book for all writers, not just mystery writers. Lots of good essays on writing in general, and even those that focus on mystery/thriller/suspense have takeaways that can apply to most genres. The essays are short and there is an exercise with each.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Blair Hodgkinson

    Excellent installment in the "Now Write!" series with even more exercises to help develop writing skills. Excellent installment in the "Now Write!" series with even more exercises to help develop writing skills.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Patton

    Very informative, more interested in the latest in the series on science fiction and fantasy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Page

    These are great exercises and prompts. It's one of those books that I intend to revisit once my other projects are finished. These are great exercises and prompts. It's one of those books that I intend to revisit once my other projects are finished.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tally, The Chatty Introvert

  19. 5 out of 5

    Traci Andrighetti

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris Minnick

  21. 4 out of 5

    columbialion

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Mahnke

  23. 4 out of 5

    doreen hammond

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Treaccar

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel C

  26. 5 out of 5

    DiDi

  27. 4 out of 5

    S. L.

  28. 4 out of 5

    James Elwood

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lance

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina Kobylak

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