My unyielding search for information for this blog has taken me to some dark places; googling groups of poisons and their effects on the body, getting inside the mind of a murderer to understand why they might take trophies and looking up the most common ways people are killed in fiction.
My search does, on occasion, also take me to some fantastic, bright and happy places. Those places are blogs.
In this round up I want to shout about some of the brilliant blogs I have found squirreled away on the internet. They are a real mish-mash, but all will help you write crime fiction and all are worth following!
Author Lucy V Hay heads up this brilliant and colourful site which is chock-a-block full of really useful tips for writers. Most of her articles are aimed at the screenplay writer, as this is the background Lucy hails from, but the advice given in these also rings true for the crime fiction novel: Writing about a young character? Read this. Writing about a character of race? Read this.
There are literally hundreds of articles just like this you should be reading as a writer. There is also a crap ton of free cheat sheets, guides and checklists to help you out, such as the ‘10 Quick Tips For Writing Female Characters’ cheat sheet here.
One of my favourite features of Bang2Write is the infographics category. There are over 40 fab infographics Lucy has scoured the internet to find, with real gems like Diversity In Hollywood By The Numbers, All About Dialogue – A Periodic Table and 7 Ways to Write A Plot Outline.
So in a nutshell, you should follow Bang2Write and particularly check in on posts when you are considering your main and background characters – considering characterisation is what this blog does best.
Lee’s blog ‘The Graveyard Shift’ should be bookmarked by anyone writing crime fiction in the USA. Lee is a veteran police investigator and police academy instructor who has also published his own book and acts as a consultant for TV and fellow authors. He has also been blogging since 2008, meaning his site is jam-packed with useful information.
I think the easiest way to experience Lee’s site is to scroll right to the bottom and select the ‘category’ dropdown and go from there. There is some fab stuff particularly under ‘digital evidence and high tech crimes’, ‘prisons and jails’ and ‘weapons’.
I also love Lee’s Crime Writers Dictionary feature where he goes through the A to Z of terms which would be useful to a crime author.
This site is so useful if you’re just starting out but feel a little swamped by the information you feel you need to catch up on before you can start to write.
Lee’s blog is written in a friendly and accessible way, go check it out!
p.s. Lee is also the host and founder of the Writer’s Police Academy which is run every year in Green Bay, Wisconsin and it is my dream to be able to go to it someday. It’s worth checking out if you’re interested in diving in to a crash course in everything you need to know about writing about policing in the US.
I just love this site. It’s not just beautifully designed but I love the topics they cover; this is your go-to for a deeper look at the connections between literature and popular culture. They have essays on everything from video gaming, alcohol, the politics of hand-holding, mental health, clichés and taxidermy.
A couple of my favourite articles are An Illustrated Guide to Writing Scenes and Stories and The Spatial Poetics of Nintendo.
In particular Electric Lit writes some fantastic articles exploring feminism in literature, and I would thoroughly recommend checking out this category before writing any female characters. Have a gander at The Damage of ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and Feminism and the Pursuit of Relentless Happiness.
Some articles require you to subscribe to read them, but the majority of content is freely available. They also have tons of recommended reading lists for you to explore.
My only criticism is that some articles aren’t all that accessible – the language used can be a little advanced if you’re a slow reader, if English isn’t your first language or you don’t have a huge vocab range.
Over to you
What did you think of my May picks? Do you have any you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!