I am editing the first draft of a new Jack Harris novel at the moment and my big preoccupation is pace.
Learning how to write a narrative with the right pace is one of the most crucial writing skills. Get it wrong and you are jeopardising your chances of success. Get…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 14, 2019 at 9:00 — No Comments
Following the news that we are running an online crime fiction course, I thought it would be useful to look at how to create a murderer!
The key to good crime writing is to create strong characters - do not stray into cliché, make your characters come over as real.So, that means you must make the villain real and not some clichéd figure from the movies.
The best thing is for them to have appeared earlier in the story so the reader knows them, becomes engaged with their life, starts…
Added by John Dean on February 12, 2019 at 11:25 — No Comments
I am d…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 12, 2019 at 9:00 — No Comments
Added by John Dean on February 11, 2019 at 15:30 — No Comments
Getting to know your characters before you begin to write your story is critical. If you don’t know much about them at the outset, you’ll struggle to bring them to life on the printed page.
So here’s a…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 11, 2019 at 14:45 — No Comments
Writers spend a lot of time thinking about the technical aspect of their work - does the plot hold together, is the pace right, is there too much description, an over-use of back story, poor grammar, literals etc…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 8, 2019 at 11:06 — No Comments
Best-selling crime novelist and creative writing tutor John Dean has started to run an online Crime Fiction Course.
John, author of 17 novels and currently published by London-based The Book Folks, and the creator of DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris, also runs Inscribe Media Ltd, through which the course will be administered.
Added by John Dean on February 7, 2019 at 15:11 — No Comments
You can check out the excellent Nicholas Camm reading the audio version of the DCI Blizzard mystery Strange Little Girl at…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 7, 2019 at 8:55 — No Comments
What turns a story from good to very good? For me, it is that extra something.
Whether it be the description of a place that makes you shiver because you feel the chill air coming off the hills, or a portrayal of a character so real they could easily walk in through the door and…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 6, 2019 at 14:07 — No Comments
I have just finished the first draft of a new Jack Harris novel. As always, I’ll let it rest for a week or two then come back to start the edit with fresh eyes.
For me, that is a crucial part of the writing process and the test for me is that, if I enjoy the novel and forgot I wrote it, I must be doing something right!
The read-through is also crucial to search for problems with flow, plotlines, poor grammar, literals etc. I want the team at The Book Folks to have a manuscript…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 6, 2019 at 13:53 — No Comments
Writers! Fancy writing in a house on a hill? Looking to learn more about how writers draw inspiration from their surroundings? Like to find a peaceful corner of a garden to write? And all with…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 4, 2019 at 10:00 — No Comments
So how do you solve a crime when your main information is coming from someone with dementia - how do you know you are being told the truth?
Check out how DCI John Blizzard fares at…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 1, 2019 at 11:00 — No Comments
As part of…Continue
Added by John Dean on February 1, 2019 at 10:00 — No Comments
My novel Dead Hill (The Book Folks), the first in the DCI Jack Harris series, is approaching 60 (mostly positive reviews) on Amazon, which got me thinking about how it came into being.…Continue
Added by John Dean on January 31, 2019 at 14:13 — No Comments
There have been largely encouraging reviews for the most recent DCI Jack Harris crime novel, Thou Shalt Kill (The Book Folks), which explores high emotions in the world of religion (with a nod to the tensions that exist on allotments!).
I value reviews; the good ones boost your confidence as a writer and you can often learn from the negative…Continue
Added by John Dean on January 30, 2019 at 15:30 — No Comments
One of my students came up with a cracking first line the other day and it got me thinking about one of my favourite topics.
A busy and harassed judge/editor/agent reads so much that anything that makes them notice you has got to be good. Compelling, gripping, intriguing, the…Continue
Added by John Dean on January 30, 2019 at 11:23 — No Comments
I am currently developing a talk on the role of Conflict in Crime Fiction, to be delivered as part of Darlington Arts Festival in North East England (May 17-20, 2019, details to be announced).
But why choose conflict as a subject? Because we live in an age when people increasingly challenge each other and when the ‘ordinary’ man or women is more prepared to challenge those in positions of authority as well.
A world where they are more prepared to be outspoken, particularly on…Continue
Added by John Dean on January 29, 2019 at 10:23 — No Comments
John Blizzard story The Railway Man, set in the world of retired rail workers, is approaching 50 reviews on Amazon - you can check out what readers think about it at …Continue
Added by John Dean on January 25, 2019 at 15:09 — No Comments
All writing is about every word doing its job. It’s true of novels but becomes an even more pronounced skill when you are writing something short, like a poem or a short story.
My company Inscribe Media used to run a short story competition and we used to receive entries which were not the top limit 2,000 words long but 200 words instead (flash fiction length).
The length meant that the writers had to make every word do its job and discard every word, every thought, every…Continue
Added by John Dean on January 22, 2019 at 15:07 — No Comments