Category: Random Friday

7. Backstory.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 7. Backstory. Every single character gets one, including the guy who shows up once to deliver the mail. It can be as little as a sentence or as much as a subplot running through the entire narrative. The supporting cast is what…

Read more 7. Backstory.

5. Never neglect setting.*

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 5. Never neglect setting.* It’s key to everything that follows. What does it look like, smell like, sound like, feel like? What effect does the setting have on the characters, and why? Once you figure out setting, you can figure out who…

Read more 5. Never neglect setting.*

In the face of all this continuing doom and gloom on the publishing front, I persevere!

[written for the Jungle Red Writers blog in 2013, and still relevant today] Sometimes I think I should just unsubscribe from all my publishing listserves. This past week (written January 12th) I read three different stories about Barnes & Noble going under. I know I was not alone in noticing, because there was a great…

Read more In the face of all this continuing doom and gloom on the publishing front, I persevere!

3. Put your protagonist at risk.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 3. Put your protagonist at risk. Physically, mentally, emotionally, any or all. Liam Campbell jumped out of an airplane (on purpose), was nearly flattened by a herd of walrus, and has been shot at and missed far too many times. We won’t…

Read more 3. Put your protagonist at risk.

2. Love your creeps.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 2. Love your creeps. Put the villain on display and do it early in the narrative. Get your reader invested in the character and then betray the hell out of both of them. Read the rest at Writer’s Digest here.

Read more 2. Love your creeps.

1. Begin with the murder.

7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction (written for Writer’s Digest) by Dana Stabenow I only wish I’d had this list when I began writing, but thirty-seven novels later I do have a few things figured out. I don’t follow all these rules slavishly. I say begin with the murder but…often I don’t. Every writer does…

Read more 1. Begin with the murder.

Dana’s Rustic Loaf

Morning of the day before: 20 ounces unbleached white flour 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt 1 scant teaspoon yeast 2 cups cold water Stir all ingredients together into a gooey dough. Spray lightly with oil, cover tightly with saran wrap, and let sit overnight on the counter. It will double, if…

Read more Dana’s Rustic Loaf

All I have to do is watch life as it is lived in Alaska today and I’ve got all the competing factions I need to build a plot.

[2016 interview with author Gwen Florio for ITW] First things first: I probably pronounce your name differently each time I say it. Please help save me from myself—Stab-en-oh or Stab-en-ow? STAH (as in stab) eh no You are best known for your 20-book series featuring Kate Shugak, an Aleut private investigator who lives in a…

Read more All I have to do is watch life as it is lived in Alaska today and I’ve got all the competing factions I need to build a plot.