Edgar Award nominee James N. Frey, author of internationally bestselling books on the craft of writing, including How to Write a Damn Good Novel, How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling, and The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth, has now written what is certain to become the standard "how-to" book for mystery writing, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery.
Frey urges writers to aim high—not to try to write a good-enough-to-get-published mystery, but a damn good mystery. A damn good mystery is first a dramatic novel, Frey insists—a dramatic novel with living, breathing characters—and he shows his readers how to create a living, breathing, believable character who will be what Frey calls "the author of the plot behind the plot."
Frey then shows, in his well-known, entertaining, accessible, and often humorous style how the characters—the entire ensemble, including the murderer, the detective, the authorities, the victims, the suspects, the witnesses, and the bystanders—create a complete and coherent world.
Exploring both the onstage action and the behind-the-scenes intrigue, Frey shows prospective writers how to build a fleshed-out, believable, and logical world. He displays to the reader exactly which parts of that world appear in the pages of a damn good mystery, and which parts are held back just long enough to keep the reader guessing.
This is an indispensable step-by-step guide for anyone who's ever dreamed of writing a damn good mystery.