- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-6051-5
- Pages: 280
- Price: £14.99
- Published Date: October 2023
John le Carré said the best place to start a crime novel is as near to the end of the story as possible. But how do you know what the story is?
As writers, we all have different experiences and skills to draw upon, and this book will help you identify the right beginning, middle and end for your own crime novel.
Whether you are writing a police procedural or a psychological thriller, you will need to consider the basic elements of a gripping narrative. Within these pages, you'll learn to master the art of storytelling, from creating a compelling plot that keeps readers on the edge of their seats to choosing the perfect point of view to bring your characters to life. Dive into the depths of suspense, mystery, and surprise, as you unravel the intricacies of crafting a crime novel that captivates and entertains.
This guide will help any new or experienced writer to navigate the writing journey, uncovering the core principles that will make your crime fiction truly exceptional.
'Entertaining and valuable.'
Mick Herron, author of Slow Horses
'While many books on writing tend to be prescriptive, delivering "formulas," Crafting crime fiction is the precise opposite. Both illuminating and encouraging, it provides aspiring writers seeking a jumpstart with an expansive tool kit, a rich history and a wealth of creative possibilities. Best of all, it sparks the imagination, lighting a fire in your belly, making you want to get writing, keep writing and then go back and write some more.'
Megan Abbott, NYT best-selling author of The Turnout and Beware the Woman
'Sutton proves through examples, vignettes and a wide range of references that indeed, crime fiction is the most decolonized of genres. Written in accessible language that is the hallmark of his teaching style, this is a gift to be unwrapped carefully, reflected upon and most of all, to inspire us.'
Femi Kayode, author of Lightseekers
'A forensic, deep dive into my favourite genre. An enjoyable, and informative guide that cracks crime fiction wide open. Henry Sutton's decades of reading and writing crime have been put to good use.'
Louise Welsh, author of ten crime novels including The Cutting Room and The Second Cut
'Henry has written the definitive book on crime writing, drawing together his vast experience both as a teacher and a crime writer. The book is essential reading for every crime reader, aspiring crime writer and even those of us with somewhat more experience. I'm a busy creative writing teacher and author, but I still found plenty here to inspire me. It's also a massively entertaining and erudite read.'
Julia Crouch is the author of nine internationally published crime novels
1 Plot and point of view
2 Character and purpose
3 Imitation and limitation
4 Setting and description
5 Structure and development
6 Pace and fluency
7 Mystery and suspense
8 Entertainment and engagement
9 Craft and editing
Henry Sutton is Professor of Creative Writing and Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of fifteen novels and a collection of short stories. A literary critic for many years, he has judged numerous awards, including the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. He is the director of the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival.