Writing crime fiction – 7 elements of gripping suspense
Writing Crime Fiction - Suspense | Now Novel
The crime novel, as a visit to any good bookshop will tell you, is a huge category, and I would never claim to know the definitive method of constructing and writing one; I can only go from my own experience of writing for TV shows like Silent Witness and Wire in the Blood, and the crime novel trilogy that started with Crusher. The best place to start is with a story that fascinates you as a writer. If you feel excited writing it there's a far better chance your readers will feel excited too. Real life is always the best source of stories, but never rely on newspapers or TV for the whole truth: journalists often omit inconvenient facts, or simply get stuff wrong, and TV writers constantly cheat and fudge reality to make their story work better, or to fit a timeslot or a budget. Recycling other writers' work is not good writing any more than reheating a supermarket meal in a plastic tray is good cooking — research is essential if you want your tale to ring true.
Great authors show us there are many ways to start a story. Watch the summary video on ways to begin stories now, then read discussion of the story beginnings below:. This is a popular way to start a story about a character coming of age or grappling with internal conflict. These novels typically use first person narration.
Suspense is a critical aspect of writing crime fiction. All the elements outlined below can help to increase suspense over the course of your novel:. Suspense arises from conflict. Before you can effectively create suspense throughout your crime novel, you need to have a handle on its central conflict.