Edgar award nominee James N. Frey, author of the
internationally best-selling books on the craft of writing,
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, How to Write a Damn Good
Novel II: Advanced Techniques, and The Key: How to Write
Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth, has now written
what is certain to become the standard "how to" book for
mystery writing, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery.
Frey urges writers to aim high-not to try to write a good-
enough-to-get-published mystery, but a damn good mystery. A
damn good mystery is first a dramatic novel, Frey insists-a
dramatic novel with living, breathing characters-and he
shows his readers how to create a living, breathing,
believable character who will be clever and resourceful,
willful and resolute, and will be what Frey calls "the
author of the plot behind the plot."
Frey then shows, in his well-known, entertaining, and
accessible (and often humorous) style , how the characters-
the entire ensemble, including the murderer, the detective,
the authorities, the victims, the suspects, the witnesses
and the bystanders-create a complete and coherent world.
Exploring both the on-stage action and the behind-the-
scenes intrigue, Frey shows prospective writers how to
build a fleshed-out, believable, and logical world. He
shows them exactly which parts of that world show up in the
pages of a damn good mystery-and which parts are held back
just long enough to keep the reader guessing.
This is an indispensable step-by-step guide for anyone
who's ever dreamed of writing a damn good mystery.