Characters in Crime
Seven deadly writing tips
The Crime Writers of Canada slay us with ways to make your crime and mystery stories killer.
1. Three keys to a believable story
"You want your readers to find your story believable within the terms of its world. That means:
- Matching plot and setting. The plot of my novel A Deadly Little List wouldn’t take shape until we moved it from big-city Edmonton to small-town Salt Spring Island.
- Freeing characters from stereotypes. The grieving South Asian grandmother of Sitting Lady Sutra didn’t come alive until she slapped her granddaughter.
- Checking your facts! If you refer to yellow-crowned rather than golden-crowned sparrows, as I did, some sharp-eyed reader will notice."
Kay Stewart’s police procedurals A Deadly Little List (co-authored by husband Chris Bullock) and Sitting Lady Sutra feature RCMP Constable Danutia Dranchuk. Stewart has also published short stories, personal essays and writing textbooks. A past president of Crime Writers of Canada, she co-chaired Bloody Words 2011.