by Claudia Martinez
Now Write! Mysteries: Suspense, Crime, Thriller, and Other Mystery Fiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writer and Teachers was edited by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson. The book was published in 2011 by Penguin Group Inc. Sherry Ellis edited the Now Write! Series. Laurie Lamson is a writer, a filmmaker, and book editor. Lamson has edited the Now Write! Screenwriting with Sherry Ellis as well as this book. The overall purpose of this book is to be able to help writers through the process of writing a mystery book or story. Each chapter is composed of sections. And in every section there is an exercise that the reader could do and get some ideas.
In addition, the different sections have personal experiences of different authors that provide insight on why an activity could be so important to the writing process. One example is the first chapter has a section dedicated to research. The author describes the importance of research and makes it relatable by giving his own experience. When I read the section on research I thought it would have been boring or uninteresting because it is not fun or amusing. But I personally found the different experiences to be very enjoyable.
Stephen Schwartz is the author in this particular section. He had mentioned that he was able to convince all of his professors to let him do research on the Navajo reservations, which allowed him to miss two whole weeks of college. His road trip to gather information was titled research but he realized that it was something that he could enjoy doing. When the author gave this experience it made a difference and truly showed how it could be fun and interesting but also never forgetting its importance.
I believe that others, like students or teachers, would be able to enjoy the book because it is not just some manual that just gives you steps. It provides a different perspective on the writing process and it is also specific towards mysteries. It also provides exercises that could really help the juices flow for a writer.