Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing (Michelle Spring and Laurie R. King)

The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing
Michelle Spring and Laurie R. King
Nonfiction, Writing
***** (Great)

DESCRIPTION: Smoking guns, red herrings, ice-cold bodies and white-hot suspects... few things engage us like a tale of crime and fear. From the cerebral conundrums of the classic whodunit to the pulse-pounding page turner of a modern thriller, the mystery/crime genre offers something for everyone to enjoy. But these stories don't write themselves... and every name on the New York Times bestseller list was once an unpublished amateur. Authors Michelle Spring and Laurie R. King, along with several guest contributors, offer advice for those just starting out in the crime-writing field.

REVIEW: No, I don't read many mysteries. I haven't even read a book by either author of this guide. However, as a trying-to-be author, I figured it couldn't hurt to look beyond my usual genre... and, despite certain genre-specific trappings, a story is, ultimately, a story, whether it's set in a fantasy kingdom or the mean streets of a modern city. Spring and King offer plenty of excellent advice based on their own writing experiences, covering everything from idea generation and research to the final polish, even touching on post-publication promotion. Though their approaches to writing may differ, I learned plenty from both of them. The guest contributions, forming the middle of the book, varied somewhat in quality and helpfulness - this section could've used a little trimming. Otherwise, it's an informative, inspiring guidebook, regardless of one's preferred writing genre.

You Might Also Enjoy:
The Art of War for Writers (James Scott Bell) - My Review
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) - My Review
Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maass) - My Review

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