Crime fiction, detective stories, murder mysteries, mystery novels, and police novels are all genres that focus on criminal acts, particularly investigating a crime, often a murder, by either an amateur or a professional detective. Examples of famous works include Agatha Christie’s novels. Crime novels have evolved into sub-genres as the literary world advances, including legal thrillers, hard-boiled fiction, and detective stories. 

Thriller and suspense books, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s bestselling books to the latest nail-biting crime favorites, cater to the tastes of every mystery lover out there. 

Writing a crime novel can be as thrilling as your imagination. Prepare to be led through adrenaline-fueled journeys where you have to get into the mind of a great detective or a master criminal. If you plan to write a crime novel soon, this blog will tell you what you need to know before starting.

Elements of a Crime Novel

Understanding the DNA of crime fiction is essential to master the craft. The genre breathes life into its stories through crucial elements that make them compelling.

First and foremost, the crime itself is the most vital element of a good crime fiction novel. However, it should be noted that the corruption comes after the plot and characters, which are necessary for any book. In crime fiction, the crime needs to provide two things: interest in the readers as to how it was done and interest in a compelling protagonist who will solve the mystery for the readers.

The suspects are the keys to your plot, and each one unlocks a different path in your investigation. It is important to note that each suspect needs to be more than just a name; they need depth, motive, and alibis that barely hold water. 

Lastly, the plot is the backbone of your narrative. The roadmap guides your readers, making them thrilled, apprehensive, surprised, and satisfied. By mastering crafting an engaging plot, you are not just writing a book; you are creating an experience. 

Writing a Compelling Crime Novel

Once you know the elements of writing crime fiction, narrow your focus on the type you want to write. Do you want to write a trendy, cozy mystery story or a hard-boiled fiction? Knowing what you want before you begin writing goes a long way. If you need help with your novel, below are helpful ways to get started. 

  • Research and Read

Crime can be a tricky genre to write as most of us aren’t forensics experts, lawyers, police officers, or murderers. Research is the key to creating a rich, accurate, and convincing story in a world not everyone knows well. Ensure that you understand any critical aspects of your book. 

Finding inspiration from the world’s best and upcoming writers of thrillers is also helpful. Bruce N. Ball’s Quinn’s Dilemma: Trapped Between The Justice Dept., The Mob and a Notorious Union Brings Intrigue, Violence and Murder will be an excellent read if you are a budding writer. 

  • Choose Your “Crime” and Conflict

The crime will ignite your plot and drive the narrative. With an apparent conflict, your story can move forward. It is true regardless of any genre and fiction. That is why many writers open with the crime, to grip readers from the off. 

  • Work on Your Characters

Great fiction is about characters trying to achieve something. Characters with no aims are bland. We immediately give our protagonist a purpose by introducing the crime at the beginning. Get into the heads of the victim, the killer, or the witness. Make it real, make it terrifying. Be as detailed as possible. 

Your initial research will help you a lot at this point. For instance, if your criminal mastermind is a mafia boss, gather as much data as possible about that character. The more specific your details are, the more believable your work will be. The same thing is true when it comes to your main character.

You can work on more tips than we have here, but towards the end of your work, remember to edit your novel before submitting it for publishing. Also, go through the details of your work several times. When in doubt, always take the clichés out!

Apart from making sure that the crucial information in your work is authentic, another way of improving your work is by reading excellent books on the same genre, such as 

We love how Bruce N. Ball portrayed his characters and developed his plot in Quinn’s Dilemma: Trapped Between The Justice Dept., The Mob and a Notorious Union Brings Intrigue, Violence and Murder. It’s a fast-paced novel with unexpected twists and turns. If you are writing a page-turner or looking for the perfect gift for an aspiring crime novelist, the book is an excellent choice. 

Grab a copy of the book on the ReadersMagnet BookstoreAmazon, and Barnes & Noble. Learn more about Bruce N. Ball and his works by visiting

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