Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction

Course Dates: 24/05/22 - 28/06/22
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
Location: Online
Tutors: 
Want to write a murder mystery that will knock readers dead? On this course you'll learn how to plot a murder most horrid and develop your writing to create maximum suspense.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00

Course Code: HW547

Please choose a course date 

Tue, eve, 24 May - 28 Jun '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Murder mysteries remain one of the popular genres on the commercial market. This six-week course will teach you how to plot your own tale of butchery and betrayal, and offer pointers on creating a central sleuth who would give even Sherlock a run for his money.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The conventions of murder mystery and how to break them with style
- Set ups and pay offs
- Creating a compelling and believable villain
- Crime scene settings
- Red herrings and plot twists
- Helping your sleuth uncover the truth.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Plot a murder mystery in accordance with a three act structure.
- Create characters that will intrigue and delight readers of the genre
- Select and effectively describe settings appropriate to the genre.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an intermediate course and is a best fit for students who have already studied a beginners course such as 'Ways into Creative Writing.'.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A mix of group work, workshopping, writing exercises, pair work, excerpt analysis and formal instruction from the tutor.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Writing materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offer a range of writing courses for aspiring authors. Browse the writing section of our website to find the perfect course for you.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

Sophie McKenzie

A former journalist, Sophie McKenzie attended a writing class at City Lit in 2003 and has been writing fiction ever since. She has published over 25 books - including award-winning teen thrillers and crime fiction novels for adults. She is currently writing a new story featuring several strong female characters and working on a drama script for a TV production company.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.