A suspense story can be every bit as well wrought as any other argues patricia highsmith in plotting and writing suspense fiction to show how highsmith focuses as much on her failures as on her successes amid discussions about growing ideas story development plotting first and second drafts and revisions are anecdotes from highsmiths own career highsmith strangers on a train admits . In her introduciton to plotting and writing suspense prolific suspense author patricia highsmith tells us that this will not be a how to book but a book that collects her own ideas and thoughts on the craft of writing she isnt there to give us a grammar lesson. This book offers few tips on writing suspense fiction which was the reason i picked it up at a used book store but few books on writing have inspired me more than this one ms highsmith was an artist in every sense of the word and through her own thoughts and explanations of the subject the reader gets to know her own singular artistic sentiments and temperament. In this book she analyzes the key elements of suspense fiction drawing upon her own experience in four decades as a working writer she talks about among other topics how to develop a complete story from an idea what makes a plot gripping the use and abuse of coincidence characterization and the likeable criminal going from first draft to final draft and writing the suspense short
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