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Nicola Furlong

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Youdunit Whodunit! How to Write Mysteries
by Nicola Furlong   

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Books by Nicola Furlong
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Publisher:  Nicola Furlong ISBN-10:  0981209130 Type: 

Copyright:  Sept. 27, 2009 ISBN-13:  9780981209135

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Improve your writing today with Youdunit Whodunit!, a short and practical how-to guide to crafting mystery stories. Created by multi-published mystery author, Nicola Furlong, this e-book offers simple tricks and techniques, supported by concrete examples, which you can apply immediately to novels, short stories, screenplays, radio dramas or television scripts.

Price: $4.99 (eBook)
Download to your Kindle (eBook)

Youdunit Whodunit!, by multi-published mystery author Nicola Furlong, is a short, practical primer on how to write mystery stories.

Youdunit Whodunit! How to Write Mysteries covers specific writing essentials, including:

· Key Elements of a Three-Act Tragedy
· Beginnings with a Bang
· Into the Belly of the Middle Ground
· Nailing Endings
· Picking Points of View
· Concocting Major, Secondary and Minor Characters
· Dialogue Ditties
· To Plot or Not to Plot
· .#% Ideas
· Twists and Turns
· Gotta Have Pace
· Kicking up Suspense
· Clues and Red Herrings
· Flashbacks and Transitions
· Types and Styles of Mysteries


STRUCTURE: Chapter 2: Hit ‘Em Early, Hit ‘Em Hard

Hook and shock your audience by rocketing straight to the main crime or another crime so something important is happening, has just happened or will just happen. Set up the central plot problem (e.g., kidnapping or murder) or a major plot problem (like a stolen artefact or a missing person). This forces your villain forward; there's no turning back.

CLUES: Chapter 18: Is That A Clue Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Clues are the traces of guilt left behind by culprit. A good clue will eventually point in the right direction but initially seems to point in the wrong direction, or it means something different than expected, or it points nowhere.

Earl Stanley Gardner described clues as sequences; in other words, he suggested that a clue is a succession or series of related events. The succession of related events may occur close together or many pages or chapters apart.

For example, we know that a cold beer creates beads of moisture on its glass container. Now, if our suspect states that he finished his lager a couple of hours ago and our dazzling detective spots beads on the glass, guess what? The detective knows the suspect is lying.

It's dead easy…so read on dear Watson. The game's afoot!

Professional Reviews

The Little How-To Book That Could
Of the dozen "how to" books on mystery writing I've read, most wasted too many trees, and on Vancouver Island, that's important.

One big-name author provided only a single worthwhile nugget of advice in four hundred pages: don't write about boring people.

But Canadians are very innovative, especially about saving time. Didn't we invent Velcro? Pablum? The Bloody Caesar?

Recently my colleague Nicola Furlong produced a short, compact, and helpful e-book called Youdunit Whodunit.

This crash course in mystery writing is as jam packed with gems as Nicola's signature chocolate-pecan turtles.

For those starting out, or for authors who want to keep their writing on track, YW has twenty-two chapters in three basic innings: Structure, Character, and Story.

With a wealth of pithy examples taken from selective authors, she cuts to the chase. Hit the reader early and hit him hard. Why is the protagonist involved, if it's not a police procedural?

What do you do in mid-story, where a book often bogs? What are the pitfalls of various POV's? Where do you get your ideas?

How should you handle flashbacks and make smooth transitions without the speed bumps which mar even the best books? Nicola will have you off and running in minutes. She's an editor, agent, and coach all in one.

It comes as no surprise that the book is introduced and endorsed by two of our northern mystery lionesses, Maureen Jennings and Mary Jane Maffini.

With multiple series and decades of best-seller success, when they speak, wise authors listen.

Lou Allin,, Oc. 23, 2009

A good overview of mystery writing
I enjoyed reading this short book. It is a brief but savvy overview of writing mysteries. It doesn't go into a lot of examples or long explanations. But the text is written in and clear conversatiional and reader-friendly style. It should be good for those new to mystery writing and can serve, as well, for more experienced writers that would like a quick review.

And, besides covering the requisite need-to-know information, there are frequent helpful tips.

I would buy it again, if I lost it.

For those interested in this type of material, highly recommended.

William Polm,, April 2010

Enigma Resolved
Not having written any mysteries but wanting to know how to I found this book very informative and helpful. She shows all the pointers, how to's and some pitfalls that a mystery writer needs. She has virtually taken the mystery of how to write mysteries away and uncovered the real knacks. A great find for a budding mystery writer.

eiggjohn,, May 2013

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