CTG Reviews: Writing Crime Fiction – A 60-minute Masterclass by William Ryan and M R Hall


What the blurb says: “Everybody loves a good, juicy murder. So it’s little wonder that crime fiction is the UK’s, if not the world’s bestselling literary genre. In the first of their three 60 Minute Masterclasses, Writing Crime Fiction: An Introduction, acclaimed novelists William Ryan and M.R. Hall give an intensive and entertaining overview of the essentials of the craft.

Fast-paced, clear and accessible, Ryan and Hall distil their years of experience into a definitive guide that will show you how to turn your idea for a story into a page-turning and commercial novel. Written for beginners and experienced writers alike, the authors introduce the essential elements of a compelling story: plot, character, setting and theme, as well as advice on securing the all-important publishing deal.”

So you want to write a crime novel and you’re looking for advice?

Well, who better to guide you through the process than crime writers William Ryan – author of The Holy Thief, The Twelfth Department, and The Bloody Meadow – http://www.william-ryan.com @WilliamRyan_ on Twitter, and M R Hall – author of The Flight, The Coroner, and The Burning – www.m-r-hall.com  @MRHall_books on Twitter; both fabulous crime writers and experienced tutors of the Guardian writing masterclasses.

Structured in a step-by-step sequence helpful to prompt your thinking about each aspect of the crime novel you want to write, Ryan and Hall share their expertise and pose thought-provoking questions to help guide you through the choices you’ll need to make.

In clear, concise chapters this information-packed guide covers: what makes a crime novel; research, points of view, character creation – central and subsidiary, the dramatic world, structure and plotting, writing a novel, and how to be commercial.

With examples from classic and contemporary crime novels, this is an accessible, informative and entertaining read – perfect for reading cover-to-cover, or dipping into as and when you need some help.

So whether you’re revving up to writing a crime novel or you’ve already started and are wrestling with a work-in-progress, Ryan and Hall’s Writing Crime Fiction Masterclass is a book that you really shouldn’t be doing without.

Highly recommended.


You can buy the book from Amazon by clicking on the book cover below:


And, if you’d like to learn direct from William Ryan, check out this fabulous Guardian writing workshop http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/2015/aug/27/how-to-research-and-write-historical-fiction-william-ryan-writing-course



[with thanks to William Ryan and M R Hall for my copy of Writing Crime Fiction: a 60-minute Masterclass]


Event Alert: Get Writing! conference – Saturday 29th March 2014

Get Writing

If you’re writing a crime novel (or any genre of novel, in fact) then the annual Get Writing! conference organised by Verulam Writers Circle is well worth a visit. Taking place this year on Saturday 29th March at the University of Hertfordshire at their de Havilland Campus, there’s a jam-packed schedule aimed at everyone with an interest in writing.

The day is packed with talks, panels and practical workshops on all aspects of the creative process from idea to publication.

There’s also the chance to fast-pitch to agents and editors, or have a longer facetime session with them to discuss your work.

Workshops of special interest to aspiring crime writers are:

M R Hall (best selling crime thriller writer of many books including The Coroner, The Flight) and William Ryan (critically acclaimed author of the Captain Korolev crime series including The Holy Thief, and most recently The Twelfth Department) will be running a workshop on Constructing Character and Plot. [I attended a workshop run by them at Goldsboro Books last year – it was fantastic: practical, thought-provoking and lots of fun!]

Screenwriter and thriller writer Max Kinnings (author of fast-paced thrillers Baptism and, in 2014, Sacrifice) is running a workshop on How Studying Screenwriting can make you a Better Novelist, showing how he uses the script development model to shape a novel.

Also, there’s The Crime Panel with M R Hall, William Ryan, Max Kinnings, and fabulous thriller writer Emlyn Rees (author of action packed thrillers including Hunted, and dark psychological thrillers including That Summer He Died). And the Get Writing organisers are going to let me chair the panel!

To find out more about what promises to be a fantastic event hop on over to the Get Writing website …

Website: http://getwritingday.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk/