Hunting Down A Sleuth: Creating a Crime-Solver Readers Will Love

Writers In The Storm Blog

SusanSpann_WITSby Susan Spann

Sherlock Holmes. Jane Marple. Jack Reacher.

Three famous names with something important in common … aside from the fact that each of them solves crimes in mystery or thriller novels.

What is this common element?

Readers love them.

The key to writing successful mysteries and thrillers doesn’t lie in careful plotting, clever crimes, or sneaky suspects. The heart of these stories beats in the chest of the sleuth.

Everyone enjoys a puzzle, and a tightly-woven plot is important, but readers return to a mystery (or thriller) series because they want to spend more time with a favorite hero(ine). Solving the puzzle is much more fun when you “ride along” with a friend, and a well-written sleuth is a reader’s friend indeed.

So before you sit down to commit—and solve—the initial crime in your manuscript, hunt down a compelling hero (or heroine) your readers will remember long after…

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