Posts Tagged: Crime Fiction Writing

There are times I get the odd review from readers and critics that my characters are too glib or too articulate to be tough guys.  Or, “real people don’t talk like that”.  Early in my writing career, I wrote a Young Adult novel that was rejected because, “young people aren’t this articulate or humorous” (now you know why more teens don’t read). If you met my four kids and their friends you would find that some people (those with intellect and a sense of humor) do talk like that.  Why? Because they are well-read, articulate and intelligent and each possess a well-developed sense of humor. Second, if you met my friends, you would likewise acknowledge... more

Read More of Real People Don’t Talk Like That

It was bad enough that in 2007, at the age of 55, I tore up roots and moved from the east coast to Los Angeles, to carve out a career as a screenwriter. I upped the fish-out-of-water ante by choosing to live in an ethnic enclave—Koreatown. On arrival I found myself in a neighborhood where I not only couldn’t speak the language—I couldn’t even decipher the store signs. I was an outsider, which isn’t a bad situation for a writer. It kept me off-balance and open. I was an outsider for only so long. After a string of lonely nights in my apartment, I ventured out to a Korean nightclub a couple blocks away. The nightclub had no name that I could find, just a plastic sign that read... more

Read More of Mark Rogers: Writing “KOREATOWN BLUES”

Jim Sanderson is the author of El Camino Del Rio, an amazing crime novel that has won enormous, well-deserved praise from readers, critics and authors alike. But it took a while for Jim to achieve that success... time he spent, as he puts it, gathering hyphens and adjectives. And he learned that sustaining that 'hyphenated' success is even harder. Here's his story... For years I was an “unknown writer” before I became an “unknown Texas writer.” Then, I had a very good year and had two books come out. An essay collection made me a “little-known Texas writer,” and a novel made me a “Texas mystery writer.” To succeed financially or critically, a writer needs a niche, a... more

Read More of Success as a Writer Means Gathering Hyphens

W.L. Ripley is the author of two critically-acclaimed series of crime novels -- four books featuring ex-professional football player Wyatt Storme and four books about ex-Secret Service agent Cole Springer. His latest novel is  Storme Warning.  Here he shares the rules of writing that have guided him through those eight novels. First, forget most of what your English teacher told you about creative writing. This one gets a rise and a few giggles when I address a roomful of teachers. It is, of course, meant to get their attention – and at the same time make a point. Your High School English teacher serves a highly useful purpose by training you in proper usage and grammar and you must... more

Read More of Ripley’s Rules of Writing

Author Gerald Duff shares the story behind the writing of his novel Memphis Ribs, which Entertainment Weekly calls 'A tangy tale of murder, gang warfare, crack cocaine, and barbecue.' As far as we're concerned, that's a winning combination! The book is available for pre-order and will be released on May 5, 2015 When I wrote my novel Memphis Ribs, I did it for the same reason that all writers take up a task that lasts so long and uses up so much electricity. I was mesmerized by the topic, in this case my trying to understand the essence of the Bluff City where I had come to live for a spell. And it was a spell, because that’s what Memphis casts upon those who come to live with... more

Read More of The Story Behind MEMPHIS RIBS: “Give In, Abandon All Hope and Have A Good Time”

Constructing the page-turning novel is one great attention grabbing opening line followed by another great sentence, forming a great attention grabbing opening paragraph, followed by series of great paragraphs, forming an outstanding first chapter, succeeded by several great can’t-stop-reading Chapters leading to an engrossing plot peopled by living, breathing, interesting characters in dire situations who forge ahead courageously against all odds to an “Oh my God” hold-your-breath climax and resolved by a satisfying ending leaving the reader emotionally drained and ready to buy your next book. Thus, you have completed the great American novel. Sound easy? In the immortal words... more

Read More of The Killer Opening Line: Every Great Book Needs One