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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 II

Writing

“For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.”

—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

You’ve spent tons of energy and done a bang-up job researching and planning. Now you’re ready to start writing the first draft.

At its most elementary, you’ll be writing scenes that combine description, movement, dialogue, and internal dialogue to create these basic mystery novel components:

  • Investigation: actions such as questioning suspects, examining the crime scene, going on stakeouts, doing searches, and so on
  • Suspense: rising tension and potential danger as the investigation continues; ...

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