Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"What Do You Think About...Wednesday" Writing Mysteries with Stephanie Black

Today's guest for "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" is author Stephanie Black. She is a two time Whitney Award winner for her mysteries Fool Me Twice and Methods of Madness. She is also the author of The Believer and Cold As Ice.; which is a finalist in the mystery category for the The Whitney Award this year.

"What do you think about writing mysteries? What is the easiest/hardest part about writing mystery/suspense?”

I think writing mystery/suspense is a lot of fun
—and a lot of work. It’s exciting when a new story starts to take shape,
and exciting to see it get better and better as it goes through new drafts. I’ve always enjoyed reading a suspenseful story that gets me to the point where I don’t want to put it down—must find out what happens!—and if I can create that experience for a reader, that’s very satisfying.

What’s the easiest part? Um . . . not sure about that. Formatting the document is pretty easy . . . I know how to do double spacing and page numbers . . .

The hardest part? I think every mystery author would have a different answer for this. For me, the hardest part is coming up with the story idea in the first place. That takes a lot of brainstorming. I type ideas into a brainstorming file until I finally begin to find and mold a story. After I brainstorm up the initial ideas, sketch out some characters, and make a rough outline, I’m ready to begin the first draft—but that first draft will involve a ton of brainstorming along the way as the story develops. When I get stuck or don’t know what scene to write next, brainstorming is a good way for me to get the story moving again.

Thank you Stephanie for being my guest today and giving such award winning answers.
You can visit Stephanie at her website to learn more about her and her books.

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  1. I am so relieved to hear you say that the ideas are the hard part, Stephanie! I have ideas every day, but it takes an interesting combination of ideas to really get me excited to write a story, and then I have to develop sketches of characters from there.

    (Guess there's hope for me yet!)

    Thanks for hosting Stephanie, Sheila!

  2. This interview had meaning for me. Thanks.

  3. So, just to be clear, the hard part of writing a mystery is ... writing it? ;)

    Sounds like you must be pretty good at brainstorming though. I have a few ideas that could use a whirl in your rock tumbler. =)


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