It All Starts With Character: Writing a Mystery Novel


-
Pickard Conference Room

Mysteries are famous for their robust narrative structures and intricate plotting. Their authors use suspense and pacing to keep readers turning the page, parceling out information as needed and placing clues. Consequently, aspiring mystery writers worry about how to plot their novels. Learn how to use character as the springboard to a strong plot and how to explore and develop your protagonist through the techniques of deep free writing and thinking on paper. Seating is first-come, first-served for this session.

Register once (appreciated but not required) for the entire Writers Conference and come and go as you please. Separate registrations are required to attend any of the Critique Sessions. Check out the Writers Conference schedule at a glance or search our online calendar for in-depth descriptions.

Linda Rodriguez's book, Plotting the Character-Driven Novel is based on her popular workshop. The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East, an anthology she co-edited was recently published. Every Family Doubt, her fourth mystery featuring Cherokee campus police chief, Skeet Bannion, will appear in 2017. Her three earlier Skeet novels—Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, and Every Last Secret—and her books of poetry—Skin Hunger and Heart's Migration—have received critical recognition and awards, such as Malice Domestic Best First Novel, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, Thorpe Menn Award, and Ragdale and Macondo fellowships. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in the anthology, Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film. 

Rodriguez is chair of the AWP Indigenous/Aboriginal American Writer’s Caucus, past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, a founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of International Thriller Writers, Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, and Kansas City Cherokee Community.