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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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Chapter 12

Introducing the Protagonist

“Years ago I was in Botswana, staying with friends in a small town called Mochudi. A woman in the town wished to give my friends a chicken to celebrate Botswana National Day. I watched as this woman—traditionally built, like Mma Ramotswe—chased the chicken round the yard and eventually caught it. She made a clucking noise as she ran. The chicken looked miserable. She looked very cheerful. At that moment I thought that I might write a book about a cheerful woman of traditional build.”

—Alexander McCall Smith

BRINGING THE CHARACTER ONSTAGE

In mystery fiction, as in life, first impressions matter. Make the most of your sleuth’s first appearance on the page with the following elements.

Description

Raymond Chandler ...

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