Writing Crime Fiction



If you’re planning to write crime fiction, you have landed on the right page. But before you get started, let’s define crime fiction first. There is a lot of variation in themes and plotlines in this genre. However, it is commonly defined as “a story about someone who commits an immoral or illegal act being pursued by another person who’s attempting to bring them to justice.”

Read on these tips on writing this specific genre, so as to come up with stories that keep readers engaged until the last page.


Write a killer opening and ending

A really effective way of starting your crime story is to start in the thick of the action. Excite your readers with a dramatic first chapter. Remember that writing your ending is as important as the opening. Great endings are generally preceded by twists and turns, changes of plans, and setbacks. How you weave compelling characters to build intriguing plots in between is another story.


Make your readers empathize with your flawed characters

While the crime and its detection are the main attractions in this genre, pay serious attention to character development. Crime novels are filled with ferocious men, deceitful women, and double-dealing bastards. These characters, with all their mistakes and flaws, make your story interesting and exciting.

But is it enough to write characters who think and do cunningly bad acts? It is suggested that you make even your antagonists relatable—someone your reader can empathize with—in order to keep your readers turning the pages. For instance, a serial killer who is motivated by revenge, or a cop with a shady past. The danger with likable characters is that your readers may get bored with them and not want to finish reading your story.


Do your research

Make your crime story as realistic as possible, if not based on actual events. For you to do this, it might help if you do some research on the nature of crimes and how are they usually committed. Also, arm yourself with a lot of knowledge of forensic investigation, DNA analysis, and the like.

If time permits, expose yourself to the outside world. Maybe you’ll encounter a real fight out there in the streets. Experience the disappointments, anger, losses, and victories that life may offer. Becoming a part of the world, with all its heartaches, will teach you to write believable and exciting crime stories.

Last, but absolutely not the least, read as many bestselling crime novels as you can to learn more about the intricacies of writing crime fiction.







One response to “Writing Crime Fiction

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by Rosalie H. Contino, PhD