The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery
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The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Like Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler, Sara Paretsky and Thomas Harris, you, too, can learn the trade secrets of quality detective fiction.

It's true.Just one year from now, you can deliver a completed mystery novel to a publisher--by writing only on weekends.Authors Robert J.Ray and Jack Remick guide you through the entire mystery-writing process, from creating a kille...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 10th 2011 by Dell (first published 1998)
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More suitable title: The weekend novelist writes a really generic mystery.

This book offers some decent enough pointers, that might allow a beginning novelist to tighten up their plotting skills, but most of the advice given is problematic to say the least. First, the book supposes that you are writing the most stereotypical of crime novels, and that supposition acts like a strait jacket. It’s Agatha Christie/Dashiell Hammett or bust. There’s no sense that the authors realize that not all writers...more
I'm not sure where to begin; I'll put it bluntly, in regards of writing a novel its average.

Though some parts are overwhelming, it provides you with systematic approach of novel writing. In a way, it discourages one from writing a novel. It suggests that you should initially, do A then B; you cannot do B smoothly without A. I.e. writing a novel is linear, which I deem to be false. However, yes, there is some logic to this, but I strongly believe that as you write you tend to 'sense' your charact...more
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Practical help on plotting a first novel. I found it works well in conjunction with mythic cycles to lay out the plot curve for events that slowly escalate a story to its conclusion. The mystery is more challenging to write then other stories since all the clues have to be placed innocuously prior to the realization by the investigator about what happened. Robert Ray is an effective teacher of the methods he uses in this book.
This book has a number of really helpful tips that will be quite useful as I beat my NaNo's into shape. However, this book is focused on what I'd describe as a classic murder mystery: body found, sleuth investigates, all is revealed, and all ends are tied up. Nothing's wrong with this approach, but it won't translate 1:1 for mysteries that stray off the classic path.
Meghan O'Connor
The concept of scene cards has been tremendously helpful for me so far. I'll be buying this in hard-copy as well just so I can highlight things.
Excellent! First book to teach me how to write a mystery in a step by step approach that appeals to the outliner.
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Robert J. Ray is the author of the writing guide The Weekend Novelist and eight Matt Murdock mysteries, including Murdock Cracks Ice.

He has taught college literature, writing, and tennis. He lives in Seattle.
More about Robert J. Ray...
The Weekend Novelist The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfecting Your Work Murdock Tackles Taos (Matt Murdock, #6) Bloody Murdock (Matt Murdock, #1) Murdock Cracks Ice (Matt Murdock, #5)

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