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  1. Feature
    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner

    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner

    Pulling Out the Nail: Writing Lessons With Irvin Kershner By Steven Axelrod

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    I’ve been thinking about film director Irvin Kershner, as I work on a flat scene that desperately needs a jump start. Kershner died a few years ago, and even then I hadn’t seen him in decades — since an extraordinary ...

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  2. Feature
    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels

    Cultural Diversity in Mystery Novels By Triss Stein

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    While it is possible to find mysteries, from fluffiest to darkest, that take place in the author’s version of never-never land, I prefer mysteries set in some semblance of the real world. There, diversity equals reality. How do we incorporate ...

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  3. Feature
    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From?

    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From?

    Where Did Joey Getchie Come From? By Bill Cameron

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    Joey Getchie may be 16 years old, but he’s been with me more than three decades. He first appeared on a manuscript page—and in 1983 it was an actual sheet of paper rolled into a typewriter—as one of the protagonists ...

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  4. Feature
    My First Literary Crush

    My First Literary Crush

    My First Literary Crush By Steven Axelrod

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    As a kid I read hungrily and furtively, devouring comic books and Hardy Boys novels the same way I gobbled Mounds bars and Ring Dings. I borrowed every Albert Payson Terhune novel I could excavate from the dusty stacks of ...

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  5. Feature
    Where Do Characters Come From?

    Where Do Characters Come From?

    Where Do Characters Come From? By Tina Whittle

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    When I first met Tai Randolph, the protagonist of my series, I didn’t know her name. I knew only that the person I was meeting was quick and smart and had a head full of riotous dirty blonde curls. I ...

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  6. Feature
    When Writing is Like Landing a Plane

    When Writing is Like Landing a Plane

    When Writing is Like Landing a Plane By Steven Axelrod

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    Writing a transition for my book as I flew into Kennedy airport, I realized that my job and the pilot’s job weren’t all that different. Of course his takes years of training, the mastery of a highly complex machine, and ...

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  7. Feature
    When Setting Becomes a Character

    When Setting Becomes a Character

    When Setting Becomes a Character By Jeffrey Siger

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    For those of you in the market for indispensable elements of mystery writing, you’ve come to the right place. As I see it, a mystery is composed of six indispensable elements: characters, dialog, plot, point of view, setting, and tension. ...

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  8. Curiosities
    How We Write Mysteries

    How We Write Mysteries

    By Mary Reed and Eric Mayer

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      We’re co-authors of ratiocinative fiction Inventing plots full of character friction Scattering clues for the villain’s conviction Co-writers of mysteries! We begin by inventing a devious plot line Some elements are his and some are mine Our method is ...

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