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Features of the crime genre.
If the story is in the crime genre then it must contain a
crime.
Almost all crime stories contain high tension and
suspense.
Riddles or puzzles feature frequently in a crime story,
especially if it is a detective story. E.g. Postmortem by
Patricia Cornwell shows how a female detective tries to
figure out who the serial killer is.
The detective is generally the protagonist (the one who
tells the story) but in some short stories or books, the
villain is the narrator. E.g. In Agatha Christie's The
Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Detective Poirot is the
protagonist.
In typical crime stories, a game of cat and mouse
comes into play where the criminal is caught at the
end.…read more

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Guide to the crime genre.
Do not present an impossible crime situation.
The criminal should never turn out to be someone who
is incapable of committing the crime.
The use of a hired hit-man or an assassin does not
belong in a true detective novel.
Do not use foreigners or aliens as major characters
unless you have some real understanding of their
culture or mind-set.
Use real police policies and forensic science details in
order to make the story as real as possible.
Finally, avoid having your prime suspect to turn out to
be the culprit after all, because this is ultimately
disappointing.…read more

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Writing an effective crime story.
The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early
part of the story, but must not be anyone whose
thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.
In a crime novel, the characters themselves drive the
plot whereas in a detective story, the plot comes first.
All clues must be plainly stated and described so that
the reader can try to figure out the puzzle element
himself or herself.
Use the correct settings for different crimes, e.g. a
locked room setting for a murder. Authors which
successfully do this have suspenseful stories.
The characters are most important within a crime story
­ authors who create suspenseful stories do not do so
by using cliff-hangers, but by creating characters
which connect with the audience.…read more

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