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Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel Revised and Expanded Edition, 2nd Edition by Sara Paretsky, Hallie Ephron

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Part I

Planning

“Having a set of rules to follow as guidelines for writing a mystery makes sense for beginners, just as beginning artists learn the rules for color and perspective. Rules are fine until you get a feel for your own style and are skilled enough to stretch the limits of your writing. Certain rules, like playing fair with the reader, will always make sense.”

—Rhys Bowen

Getting started writing a mystery novel can feel overwhelming. Where to begin? Lore has it that fiction writers are either planners (they write a detailed outline or synopsis first) or pantsers (they just write, flying by the seat of their pants). But in my experience, many of us are hybrids, combining planning and pantsing in whatever proportions work best for the ...

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