Fiction Writing Made Easy

#62: The 6 Key Scenes Every Crime Novel Needs

August 11, 2022 Savannah Gilbo Episode 62
Fiction Writing Made Easy
#62: The 6 Key Scenes Every Crime Novel Needs
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Show Notes

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every crime story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:

[01:15] Crime stories are all about the quest to either solve or commit a crime. So, these stories start with a crime, build with an investigation (or a completion of the crime), and end with identifying and bringing the criminal to justice (or not).
[02:15] Readers choose crime fiction because they want to follow the trail of clues, make meaning of those clues, and figure out the puzzle right alongside the protagonist. They want to see the wrongs righted, and they want to see justice prevail.
[03:05] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.
[04:35] Key scene #1: The protagonist discovers a crime that’s indicative of a master antagonist.
[05:55] Key scene #2: The stakes become personal to the protagonist, and they commit to figuring out what’s going on so they can bring the antagonist to justice.
[07:10] Key scene #3: The protagonist learns more about what the antagonist wants and why. This raises the stakes, and the clock starts ticking.
[08:40] Key scene #4: The protagonist reaches an all-is-lost moment where they realize they’ve come to the wrong conclusion or they’ve been pursuing the wrong person.
[10:05] Key scene #5: The protagonist exposes the true criminal in the big climactic moment and unravels all the antagonist’s motives and plans.
[11:40] Key scene #6: The protagonist brings the antagonist to justice (or not).
[12:55] Key points and episode recap.

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