Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

by Patricia Highsmith

Paperback(First Edition)

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Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers On a Train, The Talented Mr.Ripley, Found In The Street, and many other books, is known as one of the finest suspense novelists. In this book, she analyzes the key elements of suspense fiction, drawing upon her own experience in four decades as a working writer. She talks about, among other topics; how to develop a complete story from an idea; what makes a plot gripping; the use (and abuse) of coincidence; characterization and the "likeable criminal"; going from first draft to final draft; and writing the suspense short story.

Throughout the book, Highsmith illustrates her points with plentiful examples from her own work, and by discussing her own inspirations, false starts, dead ends, successes, and failures, she presents a lively and highly readable picture of the novelist at work.

Anyone who wishes to write crime and suspense fiction, or who enjoys reading it, will find this book an insightful guide to the craft and art of a modern master.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312286668
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 09/08/2001
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 236,031
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

The great mystery/suspense writer Patricia Highsmith published more than two dozen works of fiction, as well as numerous reviews and essays, and was awarded the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1957) and the British Crime Writers Associations's Silver Dagger (1964).

Date of Birth:

January 19, 1921

Date of Death:

February 4, 1995

Place of Birth:

Fort Worth, Texas

Place of Death:

Locarno, Switzerland


B.A., Barnard College, 1942

Table of Contents

IThe Germ Of An Idea3
IIMainly On Using Experiences14
IIIThe Suspense Short Story27
VIThe Frist Draft61
VIIThe Snags82
VIIIThe Second Draft97
IXThe Revisions103
XThe Case History Of A Novel: The Glass Cell108
XISome Notes On Suspense In General133

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