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Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane Cleland

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Chapter One

Know Your Readers

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

—Maya Angelou

Write for Your Readers

Shortly after I submitted the manuscript for Antiques to Die For, the third entry in my Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, my St. Martin’s Minotaur editor took me to lunch. She’d barely sat down before she said, “I realized overnight what the problem is—you don’t know you’re writing cozies.”

Cozy Mysteries Defined

The term cozy, a subgenre of traditional mysteries (which is itself a subgenre of crime fiction), derives from a tea cozy, the charming, usually hand-sewn or -crocheted teapot cover designed to keep the contents warm. The name ...

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