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Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A.

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-Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction Book -Finalist for the Anthony and the Macavity awards


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-Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction Book -Finalist for the Anthony and the Macavity awards

30 review for Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A.

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 4* of five How incredibly useful this is! Simple, relatable, useful, informative, and valuable. Such a great find, I want anyone who wants to write mysteries to buy it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Raluca

    Edit November 2019: this is my third time reading this book and it's still the best editing book I've stumbled upon. It focuses on line editing and has invaluable information about how to avoid mistakes that get your manuscript rejected. Now onto my eight (!) draft of the novel, I'm confident that by applying the tips here, my book will have a much higher chance of finding an agent. Old review (spring 2018): I first read this book more than a year ago, when I was onto the second draft of my novel Edit November 2019: this is my third time reading this book and it's still the best editing book I've stumbled upon. It focuses on line editing and has invaluable information about how to avoid mistakes that get your manuscript rejected. Now onto my eight (!) draft of the novel, I'm confident that by applying the tips here, my book will have a much higher chance of finding an agent. Old review (spring 2018): I first read this book more than a year ago, when I was onto the second draft of my novel. Back then, it seemed more like a collection of common sense tips. Now I'm onto my fifth draft and upon a re-read, I realize just how useful this book is to me. Not only does it have excellent advice, but also excellent examples. I recommend it not only to mystery writers, but to all writers willing to self-edit, as the tips apply to all genres.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    One of the best books on writing that I've read. Highly recommend. One of the best books on writing that I've read. Highly recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gigi

    Rereading this very helpful editing book. This is the book that helped me move from the passive to the active voice.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Souders

    An EXCELLENT guide for those interested in writing mysteries. Filled with helpful examples and light humor. I 100% recommend this book to anyone who wants to write--his information applies to all types of fiction writing so it will help you no matter what!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Raine Baushke

    This helped my writing immensely. I've read parts of it several times. This helped my writing immensely. I've read parts of it several times.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    An excellent guide for murder mystery authors (or anybody else). This is essentially the same content as Don't Murder Your Submission, so you don't need both. Humorous writing makes it fun as well as informative. I first checked this out at my local library. I liked it so much I bought a copy. An excellent guide for murder mystery authors (or anybody else). This is essentially the same content as Don't Murder Your Submission, so you don't need both. Humorous writing makes it fun as well as informative. I first checked this out at my local library. I liked it so much I bought a copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    This is a great book for would-be writers of any genre, though Roerden focuses on mysteries in particular. Roerden has been an editor for some three decades (or something like that) and it shows. The tone is light and lively, and the examples of good and bad writing are excellent. It's a great reference, and highlights a lot of cringeworthy writing habits. Something to note: this may not be the best book for someone with an unfinished draft. The advice is meant for those who are in the middle of This is a great book for would-be writers of any genre, though Roerden focuses on mysteries in particular. Roerden has been an editor for some three decades (or something like that) and it shows. The tone is light and lively, and the examples of good and bad writing are excellent. It's a great reference, and highlights a lot of cringeworthy writing habits. Something to note: this may not be the best book for someone with an unfinished draft. The advice is meant for those who are in the middle of their second or third draft and trying to polish a finished work. Trying to apply Roerden's internal editor to a first draft may end up giving you writer's block.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jan Cruysse

    What a truly excellent book. I Only started to look for some theoretical support on writing when my first book was almost finished, but it helped me a great deal to improve what I had. We all have our own writing style but it never hurts to learn from others. And this is the best book on writing books I have seen yet.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gale Borger

    Nice job, Chris! Anyone who says you can't learn new tricks, or be reminded about what's really important about writing had better get new reading glasses because they missed the point of this book. Though geared toward the mystery genre, good writing is good writing, and Roerden speaks to everyone in this book. Nice job, Chris! Anyone who says you can't learn new tricks, or be reminded about what's really important about writing had better get new reading glasses because they missed the point of this book. Though geared toward the mystery genre, good writing is good writing, and Roerden speaks to everyone in this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    This is a very well put together guide for writing mysteries. It has a lot of good information that would be applicable to any fiction writing. I found the quotes and literary references from other mystery writers to be very helpful - plus it gave me a bunch of new authors to explore.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Some really good writing advice from a seasoned editor. Don't let the "mystery" part scare you off if you're writing in a different genre, most of the techniques apply to any kind of fiction writing. Most helpful if you've finished your manuscript and start self-editing. Some really good writing advice from a seasoned editor. Don't let the "mystery" part scare you off if you're writing in a different genre, most of the techniques apply to any kind of fiction writing. Most helpful if you've finished your manuscript and start self-editing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jordan McCollum

    Obviously some of these issues are a little basic, and none of them are handled extensively, great treatment of 24 classic problems even experienced writers can have--and some unique solutions that really work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is quickly becoming a bible of do's and don'ts for the mystery writer. The dreaded "information dump"--egad!--of which I am often guilty of writing. I'm reading this book and going back through my manuscript and stomping out all of (well, most of) the offending sections! This is quickly becoming a bible of do's and don'ts for the mystery writer. The dreaded "information dump"--egad!--of which I am often guilty of writing. I'm reading this book and going back through my manuscript and stomping out all of (well, most of) the offending sections!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I checked this out from the library twice before deciding I will need a copy on my bookshelf. The short chapters give you rapid-fire advice with plenty of examples. This is the sort of how-to-write book you can go back to again and again.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kym McNabney

    Good read, packed with information for new writers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane Lewis

    This is an excellent resource for a beginning fiction writer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hooker

    This "how-to" book is designed for mystery writers and wannabes, but contains useful information for any writer of fiction. This "how-to" book is designed for mystery writers and wannabes, but contains useful information for any writer of fiction.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marva

    Good guide to any fiction writing with a couple of things more useful to the mystery writer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lila

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Slay

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Roland

  23. 4 out of 5

    V.R. Barkowski

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Harris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  26. 5 out of 5

    Word Ninja

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard Norgard

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vera

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

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