Online: Crime Writing
Crime and thriller novels are dominating bestseller lists. Join award-winning author Marianne Delacourt, creator of the Tara Sharp series, for this six-week online crime writing course on the basics of crime writing. Learn how to craft a charismatic protagonist, how to research real-life details and, importantly, where your book can fit in the market.
Through short writing exercises, group workshopping and individual feedback from the tutor, you’ll develop the skills and insights needed to write compelling crime stories.
This course takes place on a website specifically designed for writers, making it simple and easy to share your writing, give and receive feedback, and interact with fellow writers.
Please expect to dedicate three to four hours to coursework each week. This includes reading, responding to discussions, writing, revising and providing peer feedback.
Week-by-Week Course Breakdown
Week 1: What’s your crime?
Where is your place in crime fiction and what’s the market doing currently? Understand the industry and the opportunities within the genre. Which subgenres are hot and which are not? Tips for breaking into this tough writing market.
Week 2: Digging for treasure
There are many ways of becoming an informed crime writer: hands-on experience, PI courses, surveillance training, connecting with experts, joining organisations such as Sisters in Crime. What resources will help you write a wholly authentic crime novel?
Week 3: Death-defying charisma
Most crime writers dream about constructing a protagonist with enough charisma to build a franchise upon. But how do you create a unique, unforgettable main character? Analyse some of the most popular crime protagonists and see what makes them tick. Learn the characterisation tools to create your own Sarah Lund, Mickey Haller or Saga Noren.
Week 4: The anatomy of murder
The ‘anatomy’ or structure of a crime novel is particularly important. This week looks at narrative drive and pacing, including tips for effective hooks and where to plant clues so that your novel builds suspense all the way to its resolution. Structure your crime novel for maximum punch.
Week 5: Death by detail
Too much detail? Or too little? How graphic do you need to be? Less can be more? Practice the world-building and crime-building tools that will paint a colourful and precise backdrop to your setting, without distracting the reader from the characters and the crime.
Week 6: Stand and deliver
It’s all in the ending. How do you keep track of multiple threads and tie them together at the end well enough to provide readers with a satisfying conclusion? What will keep them coming back to read your work, particularly in an ongoing series?
Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program.
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About the tutor
Marianne Delacourt is the crime-writing pseudonym of speculative fiction author, Marianne de Pierres. The first book in her Tara Sharp crime series, Sharp Shooter, won the Australian Sister’s in Crime Davitt Award for Best Novel. Marianne has a doctorate in creative writing from the University of Queensland. Visit her websites at tarasharp.com.au and mariannedepierres.com