Howdunit : a masterclass in crime writing by members of the Detection Club / conceived and edited by Martin Edwards.

London : Collins Crime Club, 2020.
xxi, 522 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Crime writing.
Detective and mystery stories -- Authorship.
Plots (Drama, novel, etc.).
"Howdunit offers a fresh perspective on the craft of crime writing from leading exponents of the genre, past and present. The book offers invaluable advice to people interested in writing crime fiction, but it also provides a fascinating picture of the way that the best crime writers have honed their skills over the years. Its unique construction and content mean that it will appeal not only to would-be writers but also to a very wide readership of crime fans. The principal contributors are current members of the legendary Detection Club, including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Peter James, Peter Robinson, Ann Cleeves, Andrew Taylor, Elly Griffiths, Sophie Hannah, Stella Duffy, Alexander McCall Smith, John Le Carré and many more. Interwoven with their contributions are shorter pieces by past Detection Club members ranging from G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr to Desmond Bagley and H.R.F. Keating." --
"In celebration of the Detection Club's 90th birthday, ninety of its esteemed members share their experiences and advice about the art and craft of successful crime writing. From G. K. Chesterton's timeless exploration of the value of detective fiction to Len Deighton's insightful explanation of how differnt problems can be met with different solutions, Howdunit takes the reader on a guided journey through all aspects of crime writing and the painful pleasures of motivation, character, setting, dialogue perspective, humour and suspense. How do you decide on a murderer? What research should you do? When can you improvise? And what do editors actually want?" -- Dust jacket flap.
Introduction / Martin Edwards
Motives. The value of detective fiction / G. K. Chesterton
The art of the detective story / R. Austin Freeman
Why crime fiction is good for you / Ian Rankin
Why do it? / James Runcie
The moral compass of the crime novel / Frances Fyfield
Beginning. Motivation / Peter James
Getting started / Janet Laurence
Finding ideas / Freeman Wills Crofts
Sources of inspiration / Nicholas Blake
Anthea Fraser / Making choices
Putting murder on the page / Ann Granger
Intensity in crime writing / Natasha Cooper
Openings / John Harvey
'Something should happen now' : narrative hooks / Peter Robinson
People. Character from suspense / Mark Billingham
Cops and criminals, contrast and comedy / Bill James
Making characters believable / Marjorie Eccles
Characters, relationships, and settings / June Thomson
Places. On the Suffolk coast / P. D. James
Human geography / Ann Cleeves
Setting stories in unfamiliar places / Michael Ridpath
M.O. Let the story be the driver / Val McDermid
Style / Lindsey Davis
Choosing a theme / Kate Charles
Pace / Michael Jecks
Writing scenes / William Ryan
Dialogue, rhythm, and keeping to the point / Margery Allingham
Listening and dialogue / Patricia Moyes
Writing dialogue / Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Perspectives. Getting a perspective / Aline Templeton
What on earth is it like to be you? / Liza Cody
Plots. Plots / Agatha Christie
Logic and working backwards / J. J. Connington
All will be revealed / Mary Kelly
Structuring a plot / Kate Ellis
Voyages of discovery / Eric Ambler
How to change your murderer / Andrew Taylor
Detectives. Amateur detective or professional? / Priscilla Masters
Believable amateurs / Susan Moody
Private eyes / Michael Z. Lewin
Research. Getting it right / Ngaio Marsh
Keeping up to date / Desmond Bagley
Amateurs and expertise / John Malcolm
Detection. Detective stories and virtuosity / Edmund Crispin
Rules and prejudices / John Dickson Carr
Classic ingredients / Christianna Brand
Clues / Michael Innes
Snakes and ladders / Catherine Aird
Optimal subterfuge / Sophie Hannah
Suspense. Suspense / Robert Goddard
The face in the mirror / Julian Symons
The suspense novel / Jessica Mann
The hours before dawn / Celia Fremlin
Action. Inspiration, perspiration, realization / Lionel Davidson
Adventure fiction / Tom Harper
Writing action series / Felix Francis
Filling the gaps / Michael Gilbert
Constructing a thriller / Michael Hartland
The Cold War, then and now / Mack Herron
History. A laying on of hands / Michael Pearce
The Christmas tree theory of historical research / Imogen Robertson
Historical dialogue / L. C. Tyler
Humour. Humour and human nature / Alexander McCall Smith
Characters and caricature / Robert Barnard
Humour and satire / Ruth Dudley Edwards
In short. Let's pretend / Roy Vickers
Switch-overs in short stories / H. R. F. Keating
Fiction and fact. Fictionalizing characters and crimes from real life / Peter Lovesey
Trial and error / Anthony Berkeley
Partners in crime. Collaborative writing / Dorothy L. Sayers
Adapting. Writing for radio / Alison Joseph
Adaptability / Simon Brett
Challenges. Imposter syndrome / Martyn Wales
Writing : a painful pleasure / Suzette A. Hill
Writer's block / David Stuart Davies
Improvising / Stella Duffy
Ending. The end of the beginning / Laura Wilson
In my end / Joanna Hines
Publishing. The changing face of publishing / David Roberts
What editors want / Antonia Hodgson
Traditional versus self-publishing / Russell James
One things leads to another / Jill Paton Walsh
Writing lives. The writing process / Reginald Hill
Keeping track / Paula Gosling
Reading for pleasure / Jonathan Gash
Don't give up the day job / Janet Noel
Writing to relax / Bertie Denham
Social media and the death of Nancy / Elly Griffiths
The joy of writing / John Le Carré
Different books; different problems; different solutions / Len Deighton.
Includes index.
Edwards, Martin, 1955- editor.
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