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Elements of Mystery Fiction, The: Writing the Modern Whodunit [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 420115  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   225
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2004
Publisher   Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN  1590581156  
EAN  9781590581155  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Expanded to include chapters written by modern mystery masters and high-profile publishing personalities, this edition of the classic guide reveals the essential "elements" of successful mystery novels, including original plots, memorable villains, and multi-faceted supporting characters. Original.

Publishers Description
The Elements of Mystery Fiction: Writing the Modern Whonunit has guided and inspied mystery writersveterans as well as beginners-- for nearly a decade. Here William G. Tapply, with more than 20 popular mystery and suspense novels under his belt, isolates the crucial "elements" of the mystery novels that publishers want to publish and readers want to read--original plots, clever clues, sympathetic sleuths, memorable villains, multi-dimensional supporting characters, true-to-life settings, sharp narrative hooks, and, of course, smooth writing. In clear readable prose using examples from many of our best contemporary mystery novelists, Tapply shows how the writer can create the pieces and fit them together to make a story you can't put down.

This new expanded edition of Elements contains original chapters by some of our best contemporary writers and most prominent personalities in the publishing world discussing writing and business issues that are vital to mystery writers in the 21st century.

Buy Elements of Mystery Fiction, The: Writing the Modern Whodunit by William G. Tapply from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781590581155 & 1590581156

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Essential Reading for All Mystery Novelists and a Great Guide for Reviewers  Feb 20, 2008
William G. Tapply has great credentials for explaining about how to write mystery fiction: His series of Brady Coyne mysteries have been providing much reading pleasure to mystery fans for decades. He's also collaborated on novels with Linda Barlow and Philip R. Craig. The fishing happy aspect of Brady Coyne's fictional life reflects Mr. Tapply's personal love for and great knowledge of fishing (and he's also written widely on the subject in non-fiction form).

When I'm reading a mystery, I often feel that something is missing. The Elements of Mystery Fiction showed me how to analyze a mystery to see what its strengths and weaknesses are. I'm sure my mystery reviews will be much better as a result.

As a non-fiction writer, I've never been able to figure out a writing process that would work with mysteries. Novels are much easier. You can just start from an intriguing premise, put the hero or heroine in a tricky spot, and let the book write itself . . . as Stephen King suggests.

Mr. Tapply thoughtfully describes the process he uses for writing mysteries. It's a bear! But I can see why it works. You cannot leave anything to chance.

Having seen the large challenges and bulky process involved, I can also see why many novelists prefer to write suspense books rather than mysteries. Those are much easier to write!

This new edition adds several new chapters that are written or contributed to through interview by other mystery authors and experts exploring:

Writing the Mystery Series -- Philip R. Craig
Standalone or Series Mystery? -- Bill Eidson
Seeing Double: Making Collaboration Work -- Hallie Ephron
Doing Business with Agents -- Fred Morris interview
Editing and Publishing Mysteries -- Barbara Peters interview
The Bookselling Business -- Otto Penzler interview
Publicizing Your Mystery Novel -- Jeremiah Healy interview
Persistence -- Vicki Stiefel

Of particular interest to those who want detailed writing help are Mr. Tapply's many examples of superb writing (from other peoples' mysteries -- many of which you've probably read) and bad writing (concocted to demonstrate what can go wrong).

And naturally, the book is brilliantly and lovingly written.

Get this book today!
The best book on writing mysteries I've read yet  Dec 5, 2005
Of all the books on writing mysteries - and there are many - this is one of the only written by a real master of the craft (with the exception, perhaps, of Patricia Highsmith's book). Tapply neither talks down to the reader nor does he go over the reader's head. This nuts-and-bolts book looks at the main issues involved in writing mysteries clearly and concisely.

Covering the usual areas - character, plot, point of view, setting, etc. - Tapply gives an honest, frank appraisal of what works for him and others. While it is possible that having read other books on writing in general and mysteries in particular made me more receptive to this book, Tapply's tone is friendly and reassuring. This may be the best book on the subject.

Write your own review about Elements of Mystery Fiction, The: Writing the Modern Whodunit

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