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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel
By Hallie Ephron

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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel

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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel
How to Knock 'Em Dead With Style
By Hallie Ephron
Writer's Digest Books, (2005)
Standard Print Edition
ISBN: 1582973768
Genre: Writing & Publishing

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - November 30, 2005

In many ways, writing a mystery novel is similar to writing any other novel. However, it is also very different. Each genre has techniques, types of characters, special settings, and formats that are unique to them, and mysteries are no different. It goes without saying, that every mystery novel needs its fair share of red herrings, surprise twists, a large dose of suspense, and characters whose job it is to solve the mystery. To complicate the matter further, the mystery genre is further divided into numerous sub categories such as thrillers, police procedurals, and cozies, each of which have their own unique characteristics that must be learned if you wish to write specifically for one of these sub-genres.

In Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel Hallie Ephron guides you through the process of writing a mystery novel, from deciphering just what a mystery novel is to actually selling your completed manuscript. Ephron, who has co-written five psychological mystery thrillers under the name, G.H. Ephron, does not attempt to provide a formula for you to follow when writing a mystery. Rather she examines all the parts that go into crafting a mystery novel, and she explains how to put all these disparate parts together to create a complete manuscript.

Ephron's advice is clear, informative, and easy to understand. However the process of actually writing the book will take a great deal of time and effort on your part. This is not a speed course in writing a mystery novel. Rather, it is a practical apprenticeship in crafting an exciting and intricate mystery. For example, Ephron helps you to create the perfect sleuth for your book, learn how to include credible twists and turns, how to pace your story, how to pepper your story with clues without giving away too much, and how to research your story. As important, she provides guidance on editing and revising your work, as well as tips on marketing your novel to agents and publishers.

Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel is perfect for both first time mystery writers as well as seasoned veterans looking to pick up some new tips. This book is enhanced by the inclusion of numerous examples, exercises, and worksheets. Best of all, the book is intuitively organized, presenting information in the order in which it is needed when writing a mystery novel. A handy resource list is also included. In short, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel is required reading for anyone who wants to write a mystery novel, or to improve their novel writing skills. Reading this book will help you to avoid many of the mistakes made by new writers, and it provides you with invaluable access to advice from a seasoned pro that will help you to not only improve your writing skills and style, but which also will help to increase your chances of finding a publisher or agent for your manuscript. If you can only buy one book on mystery writing, this is the one to buy, and more importantly - this is the one to read!


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