Heading to Italy to teach a writing workshop

In the morning I’m going to Tuscany to teach a week-long seminar on writing crime fiction. So here’s your chance to ask me: What do you want to know about writing? About plotting, character, suspense, setting, dialogue, editing?

Or do you want it all to remain mysterious? If so, I’ll just let you think the Muse does all the work.

But for the rest of you: anything you’ve ever wondered about writing suspense novels?

8 responses to “Heading to Italy to teach a writing workshop

  1. How do you write such smooth dialogue? Dialogue can flow or it can be so stiff, it can ruin an otherwise good story.

  2. Oh, and have fun in Italy and stay safe.

  3. Hi Meg,

    Your Canadian friend here in Alberta. I am currently working on my second novel and I would like to know how you approach research and, more specifically, when is it time to take what you’ve got and start writing? Or do you just plow on writing and then research something when you hit something you need more info on? I’m in the middle of researching a fairly hi-tech thriller, but I need to get my “ducks in a row” before I can even begin writing. Also, do you go so far as to work out the floor plan of your protagonists house and other details like that, so that when you write about it, it has an authentic feel to it?

    Sorry if this was long winded.

    Cheers!

    ~ todd

  4. I feel like I’m imposing here, but you did ask! I’m not even totally clear on my question, so please bear with me. I have read of an interesting case here in Ontario (Canada) about a woman who has murdered two people. I’ve been intrigued, but aside from about a dozen newspaper articles, there is not much out there of the public. I, however, am lucky to get a whole lot of documents on the case. The details are about 80 per cent of the total case.

    I originally thought I’d tell the story from the first victim’s voice, then through the second victim’s voice. Now I’m not so sure. I’m sure that as I keep reading through the docs that I’ll figure that one out.

    My stumbling blocks are these: One, how do I write, or tell, the tech parts like the coroner and the like. Do you think the idea of writing a chapter, maybe an afterword, on the specifics of the manner of murder and how it’s done, a good idea? Second, it’s a true story, but I’m not sure how to “cover my butt” – like when to use a real name.

    I hope this is not a comment from hell for you. I’ve been reading crime books for decades now – which is probably what attracted me to this case – serious books, mildly humourous … I’ve even enjoyed kitchy books that have a smart cat companion or some such. But just because I read them, it doesn’t mean I know how to write them.

    I really enjoy your blog, and I learn a lot from it. So if this comment makes sense and you have an idea, suggestion … I would be very appreciative.

    Are you sorry you asked, now? LOL. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the questions. I’m going to answer them in a separate post. So hang on — you’ll have answers soon.

  6. Have a a fabulous time in Tuscany. Wish I was there!

  7. Hi Meg,
    It’s me again. Here’s another question if you feel like answering two from me, if you don’t… I’ll cry. (kidding!) What software do you use when you write?

    ~ todd

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