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The Elements Of Mystery Fiction: Writing A Modern Whodunit
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The Elements Of Mystery Fiction: Writing A Modern Whodunit

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Prolific mystery writer and winner of the Scribner Crime Novel Award explores his craft in this practical handbook. Using examples from his own work and that of other celebrated mystery writers, the author discusses the planning and writing of successful mystery fiction.
Published by Writer (first published May 1st 2004)
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New Hampshire mystery writer and teacher, the late William Tapply offers a lot of good advice. Much of his advice I've already read in other places and pertains to any type of fiction writing. One comment he made really struck me. Before you can write the story of the detection of the crime, you first have the write the story of the murder.

The last eight chapters of the book were not written by Tapply, which kind of disappointed me. Each of those chapters is a separate essay by another author.
David Aultman
William Tapply was one of my favorite outdoor writers. His book was very helpful and I used it quite a bit in writing my own book.
Soul Rhallin
Simply put, this book has become one of my go-to resources for character and plot development in my stories.

The author has an affable and reasonable delivery. Common sense and practical application mark every page. The information is presented in a format that lends itself well to being read straight through, or piecemeal.

For anyone looking to create realistic mystery fiction, this is an exceptionally useful resource to have on hand.
A fairly good introduction to writing basic mystery fiction. My only two problems with it were the repeated (and annoying) use of the pronoun "she" to refer to the sleuth and "he" to refer to the villain (is the author saying women can't be villains?) and a few spots with bad language (mostly in the excerpts from published mystery books).

The section on collaborations was especially interesting.
Fredrick Danysh
An accomplished author, Tapply give tips on the writing process for modern mystery stories. Easy to read and a useful addition to the beginning writer's bookshelf. Many various topics are covered.
Judy Goodwin
Half the book is a little dated with the new eBooks and self-publishing phenomenon, but the first half was very helpful.
Meg Mims
TOTALLY recommend this book if you're writing a mystery. Chock full of great tips.
Read as part of my research for writing the Kidz RPG.
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William G. Tapply (1940–2009) was an American author best known for writing legal thrillers. A lifelong New Englander, he graduated from Amherst and Harvard before going on to teach social studies at Lexington High School. He published his first novel, Death at Charity’s Point, in 1984. A story of death and betrayal among Boston Brahmins, it introduced crusading lawyer Brady Coyne, a fishing enthu ...more
More about William G. Tapply...
Outwitting Trolls (Brady Coyne, #28) Bitch Creek Hell Bent (Brady Coyne, #27) Gray Ghost: A Stoney Calhoun Novel (Stoney Calhoun, #2) Dark Tiger (Stoney Calhoun, #3)

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