Fiction Writing Made Easy

#75: Crime Genre Conventions

December 06, 2022 Savannah Gilbo Episode 75
#75: Crime Genre Conventions
Fiction Writing Made Easy
More Info
Fiction Writing Made Easy
#75: Crime Genre Conventions
Dec 06, 2022 Episode 75
Savannah Gilbo

In today's episode, I’m covering the conventions of the crime genre. This includes the character roles, settings, and events that need to be present in a crime story in order for it to work and satisfy fans of the genre. Here’s a preview of what’s included: 

[01:30] 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).

[05:15] 1. There’s a crime with at least one victim that launches the investigation.

[06:15] 2. The protagonist is intelligent and determined to solve the crime. 

[08:15] 3. There’s an equally smart or crafty antagonist who seems to be a step ahead of the protagonist the whole time.

[09:15] 4. There is a closed circle of suspects, each with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity to commit the crime.

[10:30] 5. There’s a MacGuffin (or a very specific thing the antagonist wants).

[11:30] 6. A sidekick character who acts as a sounding board for the protagonist.

[12:25] 7. There are clues and red herrings that help (or hurt) the investigation.

[13:40] 8. There’s a ticking clock by which the protagonist must solve the crime.

[14:37] 9. There’s a speech in praise of the antagonist that shows their brilliance.

[15:48] 10. There’s at least one shapeshifter character.

[16:42] Key points and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

👋 Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification Program!

👉 Looking for a transcript? If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, scroll down below the episode player until you see the transcript.

Show Notes

In today's episode, I’m covering the conventions of the crime genre. This includes the character roles, settings, and events that need to be present in a crime story in order for it to work and satisfy fans of the genre. Here’s a preview of what’s included: 

[01:30] 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).

[05:15] 1. There’s a crime with at least one victim that launches the investigation.

[06:15] 2. The protagonist is intelligent and determined to solve the crime. 

[08:15] 3. There’s an equally smart or crafty antagonist who seems to be a step ahead of the protagonist the whole time.

[09:15] 4. There is a closed circle of suspects, each with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity to commit the crime.

[10:30] 5. There’s a MacGuffin (or a very specific thing the antagonist wants).

[11:30] 6. A sidekick character who acts as a sounding board for the protagonist.

[12:25] 7. There are clues and red herrings that help (or hurt) the investigation.

[13:40] 8. There’s a ticking clock by which the protagonist must solve the crime.

[14:37] 9. There’s a speech in praise of the antagonist that shows their brilliance.

[15:48] 10. There’s at least one shapeshifter character.

[16:42] Key points and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

👋 Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification Program!

👉 Looking for a transcript? If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, scroll down below the episode player until you see the transcript.