Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories That Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats

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Product Details

Writer's Digest Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author

JANE K. CLELAND once owned a New Hampshire-based antiques and rare books business. She is the author of nearly twenty novels and short stories in the beloved Josie Prescott Antiques mystery series, is the winner of two David Awards for Best Novel, and has been a finalist for the Agatha, Macavity, and Anthony Awards. Jane is the former president of the New York chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and chairs the Wolfe Pack's Black Orchid Novella Award in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She won the Agatha Award for both of her books on the craft of writing, Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot and Mastering Plot Twists. She is part of the fulltime English faculty at Lehman College, a contributing editor for Writer's Digest magazine, and lives in New York City.

Hallie Ephron is the New York Times bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie, Come and Find Me, There Was an Old Woman, and Night Night, Sleep Tight. For twelve years she was the crime fiction reviewer for the Boston Globe. The daughter of Hollywood screenwriters, she grew up in Beverly Hills, and lives near Boston, Massachusetts.


"Award-winning author Jane Cleland has crafted an insightful and entertaining page-turner about crafting page-turners. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot belongs on every writer's shelf." --Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times best-selling author

"Unputdownably indispensable! For newbie authors and veterans alike, this terrific how-to is your new go-to. Don't write your book without it--it's a treasure." --Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author

"Masterful! I love this book. Oh, how I wish I'd had it when I was struggling with my first crime novel. This is a gold mine of information, of insight on how to structure and pace the novel. Brilliant. And even as I write my current book I find myself reflecting on her insights, and using them. This isn't about being formulaic. It's about first understanding the structure, and then making it your own. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot is an absolutely extraordinary resource for anyone serious about writing not just a crime novel, but any book. --Louise Penny, #1 New York Times best-selling author

"Jane Cleland had drawn a detailed road map for navigating the suspense-writing journey. In a well-thought-out and artfully constructed way, she concisely covers it all. I wish I had read Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot before I ever started writing mysteries, but I sure am glad to have this book now." --Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author

"Leave it to Jane Cleland, the reigning queen of the traditional mystery, to reveal the secrets of suspense--and to take the sweat out of writing today's hottest genre!" --Paula Munier, senior literary agent at Talcott Notch Literary Agency and author of Plot Perfect