You’ve probably heard of serial killers, pirates, and astronauts. These are the celebrities of crime fiction. Their exploits seem almost too amazing to be true, and yet there they are, described in all their gruesome details in thick books with hard covers.
If you’ve always dreamed of writing the next blockbuster novel, these are the people to learn from. They proved that there’s still life in the old dog yet, and you can too. If you’re looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, check out these proven techniques for writing an irresistible book.
The Need For Authenticity
The most recognizable feature of a true-crime book is its authenticity. These books are essentially compilations of actual police reports and court documents, which were then regurgitated and embellished for the convenience of the writer. When people think of true crime, they automatically think of something that is mostly fact-driven and based on actual incidents. If there’s a reason why these books continue to be popular year after year, it’s because they offer an interesting and immersive experience to the reader. To evoke a similar feeling in your own writing, use facts to the best of your ability. If you’re looking for a new challenge, try rewriting a few historical events from a different angle. If you want to really test your skill, pull some of these events from real life and see how well you can re-create the horrifying details without getting yourself in legal trouble.
Another thing that makes a true-crime book stand out is the extensive amount of details that go into each description. If you’re creating a character, it’s best to go the extra mile and give that character some distinguishing features. For example, the characters in the Elmo books have the distinctive accent and use certain words and phrases differently from the average Joe. If your character is a serial killer for example, make sure that you give him a specific voice, mannerisms, and even an alias. Your readers will thank you for going the extra mile and being so descriptive.
Keep It Light
If you want to write a truly unforgettable story, keep things light. Use details to create an atmosphere of fear and dread, but make sure that the incidents in your book are not so graphic as to make the reading experience difficult for young or older readers. The worse thing that can happen to your story is for it to be too tame. You’ll end up causing your readers to quickly put down the book and go back to their regularly scheduled programming (if you know what I mean). It’s not that graphic details and content are off-limits to everyone, but you should have some artistic and emotional maturity before you start tackling these kinds of topics. Make sure that you are aware of your audience. If this is a book that you know is meant for a mature or older audience, only then should you decide to dive into these horrific topics. Otherwise, keep the details simple and tasteful. The more horrifying and disgusting the better when it comes to these types of books. Trust your gut instinct and don’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of your creative muse.
Learn From The Best
It would be foolish to try and reinvent the wheel in terms of creating a fact-based book. There are countless ones already out there, and you can learn a lot from them. These books teach you the tricks of the trade and expose you to the way authors perform magic by weaving a narrative that feels authentic and real. You can emulate their success by taking your own fact-based journey through to its conclusion with the help of these books.
There are many different ways to skin a cat. Some like cats have pointed ears and some don’t. Some are gray and some are not. You get the idea. Use what you know about cats to describe other animals or people. Be creative, don’t be boring. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to write a gripping story when you keep things as close to reality as possible. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once you reach the end because at least you tried your best and didn’t make any major mistakes. The most important thing is that you don’t rush the process. Take your time and do your best to make it as realistic as possible. You wouldn’t want to ruin the effect that you’re trying to achieve by rushing through the process unnecessarily. It’s all about the flow and the pace. Make sure that you include as many details about your characters and their surroundings as possible so that your readers can experience what you’ve created.