Online: Crime Writing

Marianne Delacourt

Monday 24 May to Friday 2 July 2021, online

Full Price: $660
Member: $495
Conc Member: $430

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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.

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, private investigator 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

We’ve designed this online course to meet your learning needs. You can work through the lesson material, ask questions, and engage with fellow writers throughout the course. Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.

There are no live meetings and you do not need to log into the course at a specific time. You will receive an email with an invitation link to join the online classroom by 10am on the day the course starts.

Please expect to dedicate a minimum of three to four hours per week to this course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person.

Lessons open on a weekly basis (see the week-by-week breakdown above). You will have the week to work through the content. There will be some writing exercises and the opportunity to provide peer feedback. Both the writing exercises and peer feedback will have weekly deadlines.  If you have questions, check out our most frequently asked questions.

More from Writing NSW

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