Radine Trees Nehring is an Arkansas mystery author who brings her flair for setting and background in news reporting to her exciting fiction. She recently spoke at the Ozarks Writer’s Conference in Hollister, Missouri on “The WHY, WHAT, HOW & WHEN of Mystery Writing”. Here are some highlights of her presentation…
Mysteries are the puzzles to be solved – the thrillers – the chills that have us drawing the blinds or diving under the covers. Or, they can be “cozy”, allowing a non-threatening escape where justice always prevails.
Some interesting facts…
- More women read mysteries than men.
- Cozy mysteries sell best in times of economic trouble, providing an escape to a stable, idyllic community, where morals are clearly defined and rewarded.
- All writers use suspense methods for what they write. The Quest is at the heart of many mystery novels.
Nonfiction writers can bring their ability to do research to the mystery, as well as attention to accurate detail, realistic characters drawn from life, the ability to teach, and logical, orderly writing that covers all the W’s – who (or is that whodunit?), what, when, where, why, and of course, HOW. Also, how to interview people, collect background material, and setting features usually come naturally to the nonfiction writer.
Those who write poetry and essays have the ability to “show” instead of “tell, to hear the music of language, and to follow form.
Words to Remember…
“If you don’t feel it, your readers won’t.”
– Radine Trees Nehring
Radine really made us all feel that we had skills to bring to the mystery genre, and especially gave us confidence for continued writing and exploration. Thanks to Radine for her wealth of experience and willingness to share!