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*Booklist Review

How To Write Killer Fiction
The Funhouse of Mystery & the Rollercoaster of Suspense

Carolyn Wheat

Here, for writers itching to get started (but not quite sure how), is one of the most useful recent guides to crafting words into stories. The author, whose mystery fiction has won a handful of awards, customizes her guide for writers of detective fiction and suspense (although her discussions of plotting and character creation will be valuable to all would-be scribblers, regardless of their chosen genre). Wheat begins with an insightful discussion of the distinction between mystery and suspense—each plays to a different part of the reader’s imagination and expectations—and then devotes a section to each genre. She offers up plenty of useful tips, such as how to dispense vital information in subtle ways and how to plant clues without being too obvious about it. Where the book really scores, however, is in Wheat’s demonstration of how to construct a novel as a series of arcs, each designed to take the reader gracefully to a certain point in the story. While covering similar territory, the sections on mystery and suspense approach the material from slightly different angles. The final section, on the writing process, provides a nuts-and-bolts discussion of such fundamentals as outlining, revising, and finding the right voice for your story. There are almost as many writer’s guides on the market as there are struggling writers, but this one is indispensable. —David Pitt, Booklist (5/15/03)

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How To Write Killer Fiction
The Funhouse of Mystery
& the Roller Coaster of Suspense
by Carolyn Wheat

ISBN 1-880284-62-6, paperback, $13.95
Publication Date: May 2003

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