Learn How to Have a Life of Crime: Writing Crime Fiction By Margaret Lucke

Learn How to Have a Life of Crime: Writing Crime Fiction by Margaret Lucke

Today we welcome a new guest writer to Writer’s Fun Zone, Margaret Lucke who is stopping by to chat with us today about “Learn How to Have a Life of Crime: Writing Crime Fiction.”  Enjoy!


Would you or someone you know like to embark on a life of crime? Writing crime fiction, that is.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I invite you to check out the class I’m teaching this fall for UC Berkeley Extension. It’s called “Mystery Writing,” but that’s an umbrella title. The class will apply to all subgenres of crime fiction, from cozies to thrillers to romantic suspense.

Why take up a life of crime?

Here are some of its many rewards:

* Mysteries offer great storytelling. The best mysteries adhere to high standards of fictional art and craft. Crime fiction provides the satisfaction of a well-told tale, with a plot and a purpose, a beginning, middle and end.

* Mysteries bring order from chaos. Real life is filled with unresolved problems, unexplained loose ends, and wrongs that go unrighted. In a mystery you have the chance to learn the answers, discover the truth and make sure that justice prevails.

* Mysteries let you explore any subject we like. They give you a framework that accommodates any theme, subject, or question you want to explore. You can create an intimate, personal story or one that is global in scope.

* Mysteries let you taste the kind of life you’d like to lead. Longing for excitement and adventure? When you write a mystery you can travel to new locales, vanquish bad guys, and take revenge—on paper, of course—on the girl who snubbed you in junior high or the boss who fired you without cause.  You can take risks you never would in real life.

* Mysteries are fun. They challenge your cleverness, wit, and problem-solving skills as you construct a puzzle that will baffle your readers, and the process of bringing a story to life gives insights into our world and the people who share it with us.

Ten-week Class

The ten-week class will give you many clues to writing a great work of crime fiction. Among other topics, you’ll learn:

* Where to find ideas for compelling stories.

* How to create detectives, villains, victims, suspects, and sidekicks that readers will love—or love to hate.

* How to develop a page-turner plot and build suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

* Where to learn about police procedure, forensics, investigative techniques, and other details that will give your story authenticity.

* How to get from manuscript to published book—and survive.

WHEN: The class takes place on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It begins on September 12, and continues for ten weeks, through Wednesday, November 14.

WHERE: It takes place at 1995 University Avenue in downtown Berkeley—an easy walk from the Berkeley BART station. If you prefer to drive, there’s a parking garage in the building.

REGISTER: You can find the complete details and sign up on the class’s page on the UC Berkeley Extension website. Or go to extension.Berkeley.edu and put Mystery Writing or Margaret Lucke in the search box.



Margaret Lucke flings words around in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of three mystery novels: Snow Angel, House of Whispers, and A Relative Stranger (nominated for an Anthony Award). She has also published two how-to books on writing, Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories and Writing Mysteries. Her other publishing credits include more than 60 short stories, feature articles, and scripts for mystery weekends. A former president of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, she has been teaching fiction writing classes since 1994 and works with businesses and individuals as a writing coach and editorial consultant. More about Margaret here: http://www.margaretlucke.com/.

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