Culver City Observer -

Solving the Mystery of Writing Good Mysteries


March 14, 2019

Everybody loves a mystery — but NOT everybody knows how to write one. On March 25, IWOSC's panel of experts unravels the mystery of what makes a great mystery.

From plot pacing to story structure to plot-vrs-character-driven fiction, IWOSC leaves no stone unturned and no clue behind. We'll tackle subgenres like the “cozy” or “drawing-room” mystery, to the quintessentially American hardboiled Film Noirs and Hitchcockian suspense thrillers, to the scary and gory “Criminal Minds” type forensic thrillers and psychological shockers of the past 25 years.

So if you're looking for clues on how to get started writing mysteries, or have a who-done-it in the trunk eager to escape -- here are just some of the topics our psychological autopsy will be focusing on:

•How to create mystery characters.

•How to weave plots

•How to create red herrings and obfuscate the solution without confusing yourself, the writer

•What to do once you've planted your clues and finished your book

•The state of the mystery market today

… and much more.

Our Panelists:

Patty Smiley draws on 15 years of experience as a volunteer with LAPD for her two detective series: the Tucker SInclair and Pacific Homicide books. She's also president and VP for the local chapters of SIsters In Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Betty Hechtman is the national bestselling author of two cozy mystery series. Her 13th Crochet Mystery, Hooks Can Be Deceiving, was just released, and Inherit the Wool is the sixth book in the Yarn Retreat Series.

David Putnam bases his bestselling Bruno Johnson police mystery/thriller books on a long career in law enforcement, chasing smugglers, murderers, and bank robbers as a police officer, US Marshall, SWAT team member and Special Agent.

April Smith, author of the bestselling FBI Special Agent Ana Grey mysteries, is also a TV writer/producer. She's adapted one of her own books (Good Morning, Killer) for TV, as well as works by Stephen King and Norah Roberts.

Moderator Telly Davidson is IWOSC's Program Director, and a prolific writer on entertainment, music, and pop culture. His book Culture War: How the 90s Made Us Who We Are Today was released last year.

PALA is a special interest group of IWOSC


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