Damn Good – part two

I finished James N. Frey’s  “How to Write a Damn Good Mystery (St. Martin’s Press).”

As I mentioned in my post, Damn Good, I took lots of notes. Now some more nuggets from this fab book.

Frey suggests that we can switch viewpoints from character to character, contrary to what the standard ‘rule’ permits: use only one viewpoint per scene and stick with it.

He proposes that when writing a scene, as long as the reader is aware of the contract, we can use multiple points-of-view. If you establish this from the beginning, this becomes your ‘contract’.

Reminds me of a TV show or movie, where the narrator is always unknown, and we get inside multiple characters heads. We think nothing of it because we are entertained. I can almost hear an author say, “Action!” as the scene is unfolding on the page. 😉

Seems the perfect voice to address today’s readers: those who are attention-deprived and ready for constant movement.

However, he sums up a risk for writers when changing a narrator’s voice, “When you switch from one narrator to another you take the reader out of the fictive dream.” You run the risk of losing the reader and no writer wants to purposefully do that.

Another great bit of info Frey offers readers is a segment for after the writing. What next you ask, when you’ve completed the masterpiece? First, his words of wisdom: “You are an artist, a craftsperson, and a tradesperson. You are in the business of selling books and you’re looking for a partner to believe in you.”

To MARKET we go! Oh, yes, it’s time to sell – YOU. This section hands writers various samples. A full platter, of all those distasteful non-writing chores, served in bite-sized morsels. Buy the book and visit the buffet often: best deal around for all you can eat!



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