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 […]

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 […]

The Horror Genre: How to Scare Your Readers Silly

I’m a sucker for a good plot and an engaging atmosphere, and the horror genre has that in spades. And if I’ve been bullied into watching or reading a horror story, I’ve spent the night tossing and turning at night, afraid to sleep. I hate horror stories for the effect that they have on my […]

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 […]

The Supervillain: How to Build a Formidable Foe

“I’ve got you now! Mwahahaha!” *five minutes later* “Mwaha-ha-ha. Do you like my laugh?” asked the supervillain. If you haven’t guessed already, we’re talking about supervillains today. They are a proud and noble race that battle it out against our superheroes. Without them causing trouble, we wouldn’t have a story for our heroes and anti-heroes. Because […]

How to Create a Superhero (Part 2): Origin Stories

Welcome to part two of how to create a superhero (you can read part one here)! Last time, we talked about what a superhero is and their amazingly detailed history. Today, we’re looking at putting that history into action. Superheroes are still characters in a story, and like every other character type, they needed to […]

How to Create a Superhero (Part 1): The History

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Is that Superman? Nah. it’s just a superhero. It’s just your run of the mill superhero with gifts out of this world – or a bottle. But is that all there is to this cultural icon that has cleaned up at the box office in recent years, or are […]

How to Write a Comic Strip Everyone Will Love

As we all know, the comic strip has been around for a while. We have chuckled over the funnies in the Sunday newspaper or giggled at their antics while browsing the web. But I don’t think many of us think about the work that goes into creating those panels each week. It’s for this very […]