Friday, 24 September 2010

How To Write Detective Novels

This is a short extract from the chapter entitled 'Plot Construction' from a very rare book published in 1936 by Nigel Morland called 'How To Write Detective Novels'.

A detective novel cannot exist without a plot, carefully worked out and dovetailed together; a straight novel may be written with only the slightest of threads to hold it together. One of the first things to master, then, is the manafacture of plots.
There are two phases of this important procedure. First, the central idea has to be obtained, and, second, this idea has to be developed and expanded so that it will stand being written up to a length of anything from seventy thousand to one hundred thousand words.
Getting ideas for plots is mainly a matter of practice and thinking along productive lines. Inspiration is the resource of the amateur; it plays little part in the work of the professional. Perhaps everyone with an interest in writing could suggest at least one workable plot, but that is of little use when success depends on the ability to sustain a steady output of books as a source of income.