/Genre

Missing, Presumed, a novel by Susie Steiner Considering characterization, craft, and the conventions of mystery writing in a stunning series debut

by Ross Browne with Susie Steiner

One thing the editor in me loves about mysteries is seeing how successful authors navigate the challenge of writing entertainingly in a style of novel that’s inherently formulaic. For all its boundless appeal, mystery is a genre whose stories can be very similar in plot and structure, usually opening with the discovery of a crime and ending with the perpetrator being brought to justice in some way or another.

Many of my own […]

By | 2018-06-14T19:50:12+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, Mystery / Suspense, Q&A, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Missing, Presumed, a novel by Susie Steiner Considering characterization, craft, and the conventions of mystery writing in a stunning series debut

Sudden Prey, by John Sandford An editor’s review considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series

by Ross Browne

Anyone familiar with my taste in books probably knows how much I love John Sandford and admire his skills as a writer. One reason I like his Lucas Davenport series so much is that these deftly plotted novels usually go deep into the minds of deranged killers in seriously engaging and convincing fashion. Understanding what makes his bad guys tick and seeing their world through their eyes is part of the dark appeal […]

By | 2018-05-17T19:11:42+00:00 |Book Reviews and Analysis, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Sudden Prey, by John Sandford An editor’s review considering characterization and its impact on story in a bestselling crime series

South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

by Ross Browne

Flap Copy: For Louis Kincaid and his lover, female detective Joe Frye, the present and the past collide when they team up to find out what happened to Jean Brandt, who was reported missing by her husband from their Michigan farmhouse in 1981. Jean’s daughter Amy, only five at the time, has been plagued by dream-like memories of a violent killing, and it is assumed that the murder she has seen is her mother’s. But as Amy’s veracity as […]

By | 2018-06-05T20:34:52+00:00 |First 50, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

How Do We Write about The Future Now That It’s Here?

by Shannon Roberts

Science fiction, as a genre, has often struggled to be taken seriously. Oh, it’s garnered some respect, a few classics, and a bucketful of noteworthy authors, but how seriously are we expected to take a class of fiction that still doesn’t even warrant its own section in too many bookstores?

Don’t get me wrong: Science fiction was gaining in popularity (though not by that name) in the late 19th century, and came admirably […]

By | 2018-05-16T19:06:29+00:00 |Sci-Fi, SR|Comments Off on How Do We Write about The Future Now That It’s Here?

Yul Brynner’s Black Hat Considering good vs. evil in fantasy fiction

Bad guys and black hats are, in the classic American Western film, almost synonymous.

Even if you haven’t seen many Westerns, you’ve probably absorbed this knowledge via cultural osmosis—I certainly had.

Yul Brynner Yul Brynner in his black hat

Fortunately, the first Western I was privileged to watch was The Magnificent Seven (if a cowboy movie based on a Japanese film inspired by the mythology of the American […]

By | 2018-05-03T20:57:51+00:00 |Fantasy, SR, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Yul Brynner’s Black Hat Considering good vs. evil in fantasy fiction

Writing Mysteries Guides, tips, and recommended reading for mystery writers

A quick word of caution to the aspiring mystery writer…

For its enduring popularity as a genre, mystery is a surprisingly tough genre to break into for new writers, and in some respects one of the hardest genres to write. This is in part due to the procedural know-how a writer must have to write convincingly about investigating crime. But it’s also because of how inherently predictable the mystery formula ultimately is and the challenge of keeping readers entertained, engaged, and surprised […]

By | 2017-12-07T20:30:01+00:00 |Mystery, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Writing Mysteries Guides, tips, and recommended reading for mystery writers