A bestselling mystery author reveals all.
The ever-cheeky Craig Rice had a slew of bestselling mysteries under her belt, including such classics as The Big Budget Murders, Having a Wonderful Crime and Home Sweet Homicide, when she appeared on the cover of Time — the first mystery writer to do so. But it wasn’t the first time she was mentioned in a national magazine — she herself offered the following writing advice in the November 1944 issue of The Writer.
How Does One Write a Mystery Novel?
An easy question, and easily answered.
Put a clean sheet of paper in the typewriter. At the top (some prefer the upper right-hand corner) type page one. Type the title, and your name, in the center of the page. (Never mind your address. Put that on a separate page, and on your letter to the editor. They’ll get the manuscript back to you safely, don’t worry.) Type Chapter One in the center of the page, about four spaces under your name. Then skip about six pages.
From there on, you’re on your own.
See? Nothing to it.