On Saturday, October 22, I’ll be presenting a short story program for the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime. “Sharp, Succinct, & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Short Story” takes place 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Twin Hickory Library, 5011 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen, Virginia.
The Central Virginia Chapter of SinC already knows short fiction, of course; along with the Mystery by the Sea SinC chapter from Southeastern Virginia, they’ve produced two volumes of the anthology series Virginia is for Mysteries. But I hope I can add something to the conversation!
Here’s a quick summary of my plans for the talk:
What makes a mystery? How do you build suspense? Where can I sell my crime story? From detective fiction to domestic suspense to hard-hitting noir, various subgenres of the mystery offer different challenges for building on tradition and meeting reader expectations. This workshop will examine some specific passages from published crime fiction and look at how they keep aspects of the story in balance: strong prose as much as a fast-paced plot, compelling characters as much as a cleverly solved crime. A discussion of the ever-evolving market for mystery stories will conclude the session.