Literary mysteries: The 20 rules for writing a detective novel | MPR News

In the 1920s, S.S. Van Dine put forth 20 rules about detective stories. He said no love interests, no supernatural elements and no crazy twists. Do his rules hold up?

Source: Literary mysteries: The 20 rules for writing a detective novel | MPR News

Diversity In Writing Is Necessary

The topic of diversity in writing is very popular these days. The conversation for this is long overdue in my opinion, and not because I am a person of color but because readers are very diverse. As a child I could never find a book that had a character that looked like me in my public library. Most books were non-fiction and dealt with slavery or heroes of slavery. Now, authors are eagerly working towards sharing and writing about characters of color and it’s exciting. Take a look at this article by Tansy Rayner Roberts at Tor.com.

The Main Character in Their Own Lives: Does Diversity Make YA SF/F Better?
Julia Rios of the Outer Alliance and Alisa Krasnostein of Twelfth Planet Press recently ran a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible to raise support forKaleidoscope, a proposed YA anthology of contemporary SF and fantasy with protagonists of diverse backgrounds. They were looking for main characters who would help create a broader picture of what a ‘typical teenager’ is, whether through their race, sexuality, culture, or living with a disability. As examples of what they were looking for, the editors ofKaleidoscope had already commissioned works by Sofia Samatar, Ken Liu, Vylar Kaftan, and Jim C Hines. Read more here.
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What’s In Your Writing Toolkit?

 

Most writers have established the basic tools that will be utilized moving forward in their process of writing. Of course, taking writing courses and participating in conferences and writing groups are essential and a given. But what about reading? If we are writers we should be reading, and not just books about writing but books written by our favorite authors, as well as discovering new ones.

summer reading

summer reading (Photo credit: ruminatrix)

Jody Hedlund has written a very nice article that points out what writers need in their toolkits.

Do You Have This Important Tool In Your Writer’s Toolkit?

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund 

I’m currently between manuscripts. I finished editing a book in June, turned it in to my publisher, and now am busily researching my next book.

The research stage is always a bit of a break for me. I don’t have the daily pressure to write a certain number of words. And I don’t need the intense focus required during editing. Even though I try to accomplish several hours of research per day, my daily goals are less intense.

During the research lull between books, I usually attempt to make a dent in my to-be-read pile. While I’ve always considered reading one of life’s greatest pleasures, I’ve also come to realize that as a fiction writer, reading is a necessity in becoming a better writer.

The more a writer reads, the more familiar they become with story-telling. In fact, if you grew up like I did, with a book permanently attached to your hand, then writing fiction is probably somewhat intuitive. You already have a good foundation for what comprises a well-told story, even if you can’t quite put those techniques into fiction-writing lingo.

Even so, I recommend that all writers, no matter how much fiction they’ve read, STILL take the time to familiarize themselves with the craft of writing fiction. Even if we think we know how to write, we’ll only give ourselves even more of an advantage by familiarizing ourselves with story structure, plotting techniques, character building, etc. I find that I pick up new tips every time I read a fiction craft book. Read more here.