Online: Crime Writing

Marianne Delacourt

22 June to 31 July 2020, online

Full Price: $660

Member: $460

Conc Member: $395

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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.

Is this course right for you? Read our FAQ >

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?

Participant Requirements

Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program.

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