- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Orange Grove Press (February 17, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0991465512
- ISBN-13: 978-0991465514
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 187 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing the Cozy Mystery Paperback – February 17, 2014
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"A useful guide and ready reference, this book offers a good set of tools to demystify the making of a mystery." Roy T. James, Readers' Favorite
"This book is well organized and cuts right to the chase. Throughout are exercises to help you create the cast of characters and make decisions about the clues and setting. When I'm ready to write my cozy, this will be a terrific tool set to use." Ronda Del Boccio, Write on Purpose
"Easy to read and chock full of useful information." Muddy Rose Reviews
"With Writing the Cozy Mystery, Nancy presents an easy-to-follow and engaging framework to developing your own cozy mystery, stand-alone or series. Her expertise in the area lends credence to the useful tips throughout the book." DL Fernandez, DLF Writing
"Writing the Cozy Mystery is one of the most helpful books on writing I have ever read. This will be one reference book that will keep you coming back again and again. If you are a new author looking to try your hand at writing a cozy, or if you've already written a cozy and need help to polish it up, Writing the Cozy Mystery is a must." 5 Out of 5 Spy Glasses! Crazy Cozy Stories
About the Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers' Favorite Gold Medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy is also the author of the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her first book in this genre won the HOLT Medallion Award. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers,and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
Get a FREE book sampler when you sign up for her newsletter at NancyJCohen.com/newsletter
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1. Defining the Genre
2. World Building
3. Creating the Sleuth
4. A Web of Suspects
5. Heightening Suspense
6. Solving the Puzzle
7. The Grande Finale
8. Series Continuity
9. Organizational Tools
10. Final Words
Bonus: Writer's Resources
+ Yes it is a short read, but that works out okay as there isn't a bunch of "filler" info.
+ For the list maker, there are a couple of lists provided
> The chapter on creating the sleuth was too high level, such as create the person with a flaw. I feel I needed more. It felt like there was less here, specific to the main protagonist, than filling out a standard character sheet.
+ I found the chapter on picking your victim and web of suspects a good read.
This chapter actually had a more developed example and a writing exercise at the end
> I felt the part on, setting up your clues for your sleuth, was also too high level. Maybe I missed it and need to go back to read, but all I remember is to work backwards with setting your clues. Hmmm.
+ The content is spoken about in the context of the three Act structure
+ I liked chapter 8 on Series Continuity and the Writing Resources section as there are some helpful and interesting URLs provided.
OVERALL: For less than a buck, there gives you a place to start, from an author who has practiced and delivered in 10+ novels. Thus, even though it is short, it is worth checking out.
The author doesn't spend much time discussing cozy mystery tropes other than the very broad strokes of not usually including graphic sex, violence, or language. She suggests that it might be simplest if you write in the genre that you enjoy reading and becoming familiar with the expected tropes of your chosen area that way. But she gives some nice examples of how she accomplished certain tasks or fulfilled reader expectations through her own cozy series about a South Florida hair stylist.
There are several very comprehensive lists of things to think about, as well as concepts to cover in a story bible and character development tools that could prove invaluable for the first-time novelist. I've done similar things, but it's always ingesting to see how other writers use similar tools or go about making sure they've caught and skipped all dangling story threads. I enjoyed reading all the lists and thinking how to use and adapt them further in relation to the special case (see what I did there? *wink wink*) of a mystery. I loved the clear and direct approach to advice, the short length, and the price! Worth much more than the dollar cost. I'll be revising this one again.