posted on August 16, 2018 by Ana Brazil

Psst! Wanna Write a Killer Book?

Of course you do!

Whenever I meet people and tell them that I write historical mysteries, they often say “I’ve always wanted to write a mystery!” or “I have a great idea for a mystery; if only I knew how to write it all down!”

Here’s the good news about all that…if you want to write a Killer Book—whether it’s a historical, hard-boiled, cozy, suspense, or thriller—there are so many ways to start writing.

Here’s the bad news…you can’t just start to write a Killer Book, you have to finish it.

But never fear, here are a few tips about how to finish and start your own Killer Book:

Attend a mystery writing conference:

Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference convenes in Franklin, TN on August 23-26. This Con is especially useful for learning about forensic evidence…you even get to interpret and solve a staged crime scene!

Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Corte Madera (Marin County) CA on September 27-30. Four days of seminars, workshops, readings, and informal gatherings with some of your favorite mystery and suspense writers. I’ve been twice!

Join (or create) a critique group:

Members of Sisters-in-Crime (which includes misters as well as sisters) can join the Guppies, a group dedicated to supporting first-time mystery writers. I found my first critique group (aka “the Vicious Circle”) through the Guppies.

Almost every writers group (like the Historical Novel Society or the California Writers Club) can provide information on how to join or create a critique group. In some locales, you can find critique groups on Craigslist or Meetup.

Read how-to-write-a-mystery books:

Here are a few of my favorites:

Those are my quick tips for writing a Killer Book. Got any of your own to add to the list?

Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil

A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.) The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends. Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.

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