NaNoWriMo is Over: Now What?

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) is over for another year. Some of us are swimming in pride because we reached the coveted 50,000 words and others are wondering how things went so wrong. No matter what happened this past month, know that you did your best, and that’s all anyone can do. […]

Forensics: The Research Tools Every Writer Needs

A staple location in any mystery is the crime scene. You know, the one where cops and forensic scientists take photos and collect evidence. It’s that evidence that helps our detective crack the case. In other words, forensics are integral to any mystery or crime novel. The only problem is that the task of collecting and analyzing […]

How to Write a Blood-Pumping Crime Novel

The crime novel and mystery genre go hand in hand when talking about murder mysteries and detectives. But are they really? Like most literary genres, there are nuanced differences between a detective story or crime fiction. It’s not all about capturing the bad guy, but more about why he turned to a life of crime. It’s these […]

How to Write a Well-Researched Police Procedural

The police procedural is a subgenre of the mystery novel. It has been around since the 1940s, and it’s based on what the police do daily. To say that this is a mildly popular subgenre is a bit of an understatement. It has infiltrated not only the mystery genre but also Hollywood. There are countless TV shows […]

Chekhov’s Gun: What is It & How to Use It

Chekhov’s gun is about writing with intention. It means that we shouldn’t be throwing things into our stories that serve no purpose. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have setting descriptions and what-not. We need those things to help set the mood and orient our readers to the story’s time and place. And sometimes, the […]

The Suspense is Killing Me: How to Use Suspense

Suspense permeates every genre and story out there. It can be felt long after the novel has been put down and well into the night. It’s a feeling of unease because we know something terrible will happen if that character doesn’t find the murderer, defuse the bomb, or overcome their hangups and miss out on […]

The Suspense Genre: Creating a Nail-Biting Experience

I don’t want to keep you in too much suspense today because we’re saving that literary device for another day, but I did want to talk about the suspense genre instead. This genre is a close cousin of the mystery genre and a sibling to the thriller, and to make things worse, they often get […]

Red Herring: A Literary Device or an Aquatic Animal?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always think of the fish when the term red herring comes up in conversation. The stupid thing is herrings are more of a silvery-blue type color, not red. But I digress. We’re not here to talk about fish, we’re here to talk about writing. The funny […]

How to Write a Suspenseful, Gripping Thriller

The Thriller – a Michael Jackson award-winning song and music video or a beloved genre of twists and turns? Luckily, the answer is yes to both. And the music video contains some of the elements that we enjoy in a good thriller, like plot twists, a fast pace, and tension. Thrillers are meant to thrill […]