Crime/Mystery/Thriller writing 101 with Author Cat Connor
A Three-Day Program
Friday 18th, Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th January 2019
Time: 9:00am – 12:30pm, 1:30 – 4:00pm
Cost: Standard $300 / Early-Bird $270
Venue: Whitireia Kapiti Campus
Crime Writing Basics
- Why crime, thrillers, and mysteries are so appealing.
- Types of crime novels - exploring the genre and sub-genres.
- How to know if you have a story to tell, and how big that story is.
- Ideas and where they come from.
- How to go from idea to book!
Point of View
- Choosing a POV - understanding the pros and also the limitations of various points of view.
- Finding your voice.
It Was A Dark and Stormy Night
- Beginnings: where and how and why.
- The importance of a good hook.
- Avoiding pitfalls, dark holes, and clichés.
- Character mapping and creation.
- Main characters.
- Incidental characters.
- Creating characters - what’s in a name?
Outliners Versus Pantsers
- Types of outlining.
- Why write an outline?
- Why be a pantser?
- Fluid outlining.
- How to write yourself out of a corner!
- What is a plot and how does it work?
- Beginning, middle, and end.
- Pacing, conflict, and tension.
- Climax and resolution.
Active vs Passive
- Active vs passive writing and how to spot it!
- Writing effective dialogue.
- Writing descriptive scenes.
- Getting it right.
- The importance of good research and why Google isn’t always your friend.
- How to make contact with experts.
- Title creation - sometimes that’s a research task.
Showing Not Telling
- What is this anyway?
- Putting the reader in the moment.
Heroes, Villains, and Writerly Courage
- What exactly is a hero?
- Characters you love to hate.
- Being true to your characters.
- Endings, standalone, and series.
- Nailing the ending.
Loglines, Taglines, Blurbs, Synopses
- What they are and how to write them.
- Why are they important?
- Making the process fun.
Cat Connor gave her time and hosted a large writing group at UHC library from 2012-2015 which produced three short story anthologies and became the basis for Writers Plot Readers Read Incorporated Society - a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to giving independent Kiwi authors and independent NZ publishers somewhere to showcase their work while also raising their profile within NZ.
She’s a co-director and co-founder of Writers Plot Readers Read (independent bookshop in Upper Hutt) and also current President of Writers Plot Readers Read Incorporated Society.
Cat continues to support the wider community through the bookshop, where she teaches creative writing (to all age groups), and hosts workshops on all aspects of writing and the publishing industry. She now runs a writing group at Writers Plot bookshop every 3rd Saturday.
Cat has been involved with the Ngaio Marsh Best Crime Novel Awards and Murder in the Library events for the last 3 years.
Connor’s first novel was published in 2009 by Rebel e Publishers, South Africa. The company is now American and her 10th novel is due out at the end of 2018.
To date 4 of her 9 Byte Novels have been produced by the Royal New Zealand Blind Foundation as talking books.
2018: Qubyte accepted for publication by Rebel ePublishers, USA (waiting on contract.)
2018. The Byte Series Volume Two (boxed set) Rebel ePublishers, USA (Jan 1st 2018)
This set contains a brand new story.
2017. The Byte Series Volume One (boxed set) Rebel ePublishers, USA (October 31st,
This set contains a brand new story.
2017: Psychobyte produced as talking book by NZ Blind Foundation.
2017. Metabyte (novel) Rebel ePublishers, USA (October 1, 2017)
Top five: Preditors and Editors Poll for best Thriller.
Entrant in Ngaio Marsh Best Crime Novel 2018.
2016. Psychobyte (novel) Rebel ePublishers, USA (July 2016)
Top ten - Preditors and Editors’ Poll for best Thriller.
Entrant in Ngaio Marsh Best Crime Novel.
2016: Exacerbyte produced as talking book by NZ Blind Foundation.
2015. Eraserbyte (novel) -Rebel ePublishers, USA. (April 10 2015)
Top ten - Preditors and Editors’ Poll for best thriller.
Entrant in Ngaio Marsh Best Crime Novel
2015. Sister Mary Margaret (short story collection) – A Writer’s Plot (February)
2014: Terrorbyte produced as a talking book by NZ Blind Foundation.
2014. Recipes – slightly big book of yum.– Jetty Publishing (November)
2014. Tangled Up In Blue (short story) – 9mm Press (December)
2014 Top Ten – Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for best short story.
2014. Whispers in the Water (poetry collection) – Jetty Publishing ISBN 978-1495935091
2014 Top Ten – Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for best poem.
2014. Array (short story collection) – 9mm Press (February) ISBN 978-1495415296
2014. Rolling in the Deep (NZ short story) – Girl at the End of the World. Fox Spirit Books,
UK. (July) ISBN 978-1909348592
2014. Databyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA. (June.) ISBN 978-0615983356
2015 Ngaio Marsh best crime novel – long list.
2014 Top Ten – Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for best thriller novel.
2013/2014. I am Romeo - Fast Friends Forever (A GAP charity project). Zenith Publishing.
2013. Mo Mhuirnin - historical short story - First Love anthology. BeanPods Press, USA.
2013. Coming home - NZ short story - Tales of the Fox and Fae. Fox Spirit Books, UK.
2013. Snakebyte (novella). Paperback and kindle book, June 2013 – 9mm Press
2013. Soundbyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA
2013 Top Ten – Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll best thriller novel.
2013. Killerbyte - produced as a talking book by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the
2012. Screenplay: – pilot for New Zealand action/crime series.
2012. Archive - collection of previously published shorts. Edited by various publications at
time of original printing.
2012. Dying Ain’t Much of a Living – a byte short story - Biohazard 2012 - edited by
Jocelyne Thomas & David Bean. BeanPods Press, USA.
2012. Torrent - a collection of short _byte stories. Edited by Sara J Henry and Pat
2012. The Bells of Freedom - NZ short story - Tales of the nun and Dragon - collected by
Adele Wearing. Fox Spirit Books, UK.
2012. Flashbyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA
2011. Exacerbyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA
2011. All I Wanted Was You - short story - Tales for Canterbury - an anthology edited by
Cassie Hart and Anna Caro. Won the Julius Vogel award for best collected work 2011.
2010. Terrorbyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA
2010 Top Ten – Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll
2009. Killerbyte (novel) - Rebel ePublishers, USA.
2009 EPIC award finalist – best thriller.
2008. How much is gold worth? - NZ short story in Artistic Inspirations – short story
anthology volume 1, number 1. A subsidiary of Conceit Magazine.
2008. How much is gold worth? - NZ short story first published in June 30th (issue 296) of
Bewildering stories. (Archived)
2008. Tracks. - NZ short story published in the Feb 25th issue of Bewildering stories.
2007. Granddad’s scar. - Short story published in the October issue of Conceit Magazine.
2007. Uninvited - NZ short story published in the Fall issue of Mystericale. (Archived)
2007. Operation Kiwi - NZ short story published in the spring issue of ThrillerUK.
2006. Quad espresso and a mochachino - short story published by Writers Post Journal,
June issue. (Featuring Ellie Conway and Mac Connelly)
2006. Righteous Justice - NZ short story published by ThrillerUK, May issue.
2005. One breath at a time - short story published by T-zero, Nov issue.
2005. In my father’s eyes - short story published by Mystericale, March issue. (Archived)
2005. Rainbow Creek - short story published by Thriller UK, February issue.
2002. Is it really you? - NZ short story, published in the Writers.net Anthology of Fiction
Prose, iUniverse, edited by Gary Kessler.