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Hints and tips for budding writers
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Ms Helen
Ms Helen
Con Artist

Feb-11-2008 01:02
(sticky post)

I know there are some tips available in the mystery editor but I figured this would be a handy way for everyone to add things themselves. It would also be a useful reference for those who are just starting out, whether it be writing intros or an SM.

* Make your intro/SM original. It's easy to follow other peoples ideas but it makes a much more interesting read to see something different from the normal.

* Spelling, punctuation, grammar ARE important. It may sound obvious but many people seem to forget this little point.

* Make sure it makes sense. There's nothing more off-putting than having to read something a couple of times because you don't understand it.

* Read a few intros or play a few SMs before you write them. We have many great writers out there already and by reading their works you will get a better understanding on what is needed.

* Inspiration doesn't happen overnight. Take your time and you will be able to write a better intro/SM. A good intro probably won't be written in 5 minutes for example :)

* Remember to keep it in the correct time period (around 1930's). If it wasn't around then don't add it. Also remember to keep it in the correct style.

* Don't be put off if one of your works has been rejected. Most editors will send you a message with a reason for rejection. It may just need something small changing or it may just not be suitable. Either way that shouldn't put you off trying again.

Anyone else please feel free to add their hints and tips to help others. I hope this helps some of the new writers or even the old writers out there.

Happy writing.



Aug-18-2008 18:27

Here's a tip for budding and/or established Feature/Scripted mystery writers, whether subbed or not. :)

Scripted Mysteries are not required to involve murders! You can write about other crimes; kidnapping, arson, assault, burglary, robbery (yes, they are two different crimes), scams, missing persons... the list goes on.

Pick one, and go for it!! (Writing the story, NOT committing the crime!)

Story Teller

Sep-17-2008 17:54


Have you considered this option. Get together with Agency mates / Sleuth mates and write a SM together. You'll only need on person to use the Editor, which CAN seem a bit confusing, and the rest of you can just shape the story. You might be a great ideas person who struggles for words but you know someone who is a handy writer but not big on ideas. Or you might have someone who is great on 'period pieces' and can translate your modern story into the correct time frame.

I have collaborated with Rosamund Clifford on one SM and it was very rewarding. hehe I'm not saying it didn't have its ups and downs, but that also was a good learning experience itself.


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