Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

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Macmillan, Sep 8, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 145 pages
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Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers On a Train, The Talented Mr.Ripley, Found In The Street, and many other books, is known as one of the finest suspense novelists. In this book, she analyzes the key elements of suspense fiction, drawing upon her own experience in four decades as a working writer. She talks about, among other topics; how to develop a complete story from an idea; what makes a plot gripping; the use (and abuse) of coincidence; characterization and the "likeable criminal"; going from first draft to final draft; and writing the suspense short story.
Throughout the book, Highsmith illustrates her points with plentiful examples from her own work, and by discussing her own inspirations, false starts, dead ends, successes, and failures, she presents a lively and highly readable picture of the novelist at work.

Anyone who wishes to write crime and suspense fiction, or who enjoys reading it, will find this book an insightful guide to the craft and art of a modern master.

 

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Plotting and writing suspense fiction

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The late Highsmith, author of 27 works of fiction, including The Talented Mr. Ripley, wrote this book over 20 years ago to help new writers craft suspense fiction. Writers will be glad that it has ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NativeRoses - LibraryThing

The author who gave us Strangers on a Train and Mr. Ripley offers sound writing advice on creating suspenseful stories and novels. Read full review

Contents

THE GERM OF AN IDEA
3
MAINLY ON USING EXPERIENCES
14
THE SUSPENSE SHORT STORY
27
DEVELOPMENT
37
PLOTTING
53
THE FIRST DRAFT
61
THE SNAGS
82
THE SECOND DRAFT
97
THE REVISIONS
103
The Glass Cell
108
SOME NOTES ON SUSPENSE IN GENERAL
133
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About the author (2001)

The great mystery/suspense writer Patricia Highsmith published more than two dozen works of fiction, as well as numerous reviews and essays, and was awarded the French Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere (1957) and the British Crime Writers Associations's Silver Dagger (1964).

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