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Crime Writing Tips from Writers Write

I’ve been following Writers Write‘s blog for a while now and love all of the interesting tips that Amanda Patterson shares. Please visit her blog and share some love! Here is her latest tips:


20 Things A Crime And A Novel Have In Common

I have written a few posts on Crime Writing, from All About Writing Crime Fiction – Five Reasons to Write Crime – to 10 Deadly Poisons – a crime writer’s resource, to The Human Body After Death.

When we read about a crime, or hear about one, we can’t wait to find out the details. We are obsessed with people’s motives. We are vicarious detectives who take a serious interest in the motivation, execution, and solution of crimes.

This got me thinking about how similar solving a crime is to writing a novel. I think authors are all amateur sleuths at heart. There is a reason that you can plot a novel and ‘plot’ a murder.

Why writing a novel is like solving a crime

You need:

  1. A motive (beginning)
  2. A crime (inciting moment)
  3. A crime scene (setting)
  4. A criminal (antagonist)
  5. A victim (love interest)
  6. A detective (protagonist)
  7. A profiler (genre)
  8. A sidekick (sidekick)
  9. Desire for justice (story goal)
  10. Suspects (characters and body language)
  11. Witnesses (back story)
  12. Forensics (description)
  13. Investigative skills (plotting)
  14. The means and opportunity (conflict)
  15. Clues (plot points)
  16. Red herrings (red herrings)
  17. Evidence (exposition)
  18. A confession (ending)
  19. Justice (denouement)
  20. A lesson (theme)

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