Writing Crime Fiction
Draw your readers into a web of intrigue that will keep them guessing till the final page – with bestselling crime novelist Vaseem Khan.
Jul 14 2022 - Aug 25 2022
Write a page-turning mystery
Hosted on our bespoke learning platform
+ £145 for a 500-word report
Sherlock. Marple. Poirot. Bosch. Reacher. Precious. Rebus. Crime fiction is now so popular that its leading protagonists are household names around the world. The incredible range within the genre means that there is a niche for everyone. Whether you want to write a nail-biting detective series, cosy mysteries or carefully plotted police procedurals, we will teach you the fundamentals.
Across six weeks, bestselling author Vaseem Khan will guide you through the essentials of writing crime fiction – including mastering the building blocks of a page-turning crime novel, creating memorable detectives with series potential, writing suspense and mystery, setting up red herrings and plotting your investigation all the way to a satisfying conclusion. You will learn how to construct the perfect murder, establish a crime scene rich with clues and false leads, and make good use of research in key areas such as forensics to make your story more real for the reader. Vaseem will share everything he wishes he’d been told when he was writing his first novel, and along the way he’ll offer additional resources to help you apply the lessons to your own work and get the most out of your novel.
In addition to the specifically filmed teaching videos, detailed notes, and resources, Vaseem will set weekly writing tasks that will help you practise the skills you’re learning and bring them to bear directly on your novel. These range from exploring the theme of your crime novel to creating an alternative suspects table and adding layers of clues, intrigue and questions. All students will receive a short piece of written feedback on one writing task from an expert editor during the course.
Vaseem will help you plot, plan, and write a crime worth solving. Each week you’ll grow in confidence as you work towards answering that all-important question: whodunnit? By the end of your course, you should have written at least a 3,000 word opening and constructed your plot. This course is perfect for fans of crime fiction who now want to write their own murder mystery as well as those who already have experience with the craft of storytelling and want to learn more about the nuances of the crime genre.
Vaseem Khan, Author
Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India, the Baby Ganesh Agency series set in modern Mumbai, and the Malabar House historical crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, now translated into 15 languages. The second in the series won the Shamus Award in the US. In 2018, he was awarded the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award for Literature. Vaseem was born in England, but spent a decade working in India. Midnight at Malabar House, the first in his historical crime series, won the CWA Historical Dagger 2021. His latest book is The Dying Day about the theft of one of the world’s great treasures, a 600 year old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, stored at Bombay’s Asiatic Society.
WHAT DOES THIS COURSE GIVE YOU?
Weekly Teaching Modules
We give you the tools to help you write a gripping crime novel
Work through six weekly modules comprising teaching videos, substantial notes and tasks by Vaseem Khan. Topics range from the building blocks of crime fiction, to what makes a memorable lead character, to devices to mislead and mystify your reader.
Dedicated Teaching Videos
Bestselling author Vaseem Khan guides you through the course
Watch specially filmed, informative teaching videos presented by Vaseem Khan, offering a practical and inspiring approach to help you understand the key elements of crime fiction and craft your own murder mystery.
Resources & Notes
Comprehensive teaching notes and reference materials which are yours to keep
You’ll get access to detailed notes and teaching resources, including multiple case studies from Vaseem’s bestselling novels and other specially chosen books.
The hub of our online courses – find your writing community
Upload your completed tasks, give and receive feedback, and discuss the weekly topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.
Tailor-made tasks help you put the lessons into practice
Work your way through Vaseem’s weekly tasks, including writing your opening scene, planning conflict, and creating a sense of place.
Get feedback from your peers and an expert CBC editor
Sharpen your editorial eye through offering comment on other students’ work and get their feedback on yours. An expert CBC editor will give brief written comments on several of the students’ practical assignments each week, with all students receiving feedback on a task at some stage of the course.
You can follow the course at your own pace – but to get the best out of it, allow plenty of time each week to watch the videos, read and reflect on the notes and resources, complete the writing tasks, and take part in discussions in the forum. We encourage all students to offer positive, constructive feedback to each other in the forum as the course progresses.
It’s also important to be working on your crime novel throughout the six weeks. At the end of the course, we invite students to share their opening 3,000 words plus a one-page synopsis to give an overview of the story. This is not a submission to the agency but an opportunity to get peer feedback.
All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor (a published author with relevant teaching/editorial experience).
- CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our editors.
- CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.
Each week students will gain access to a new module packed with practical advice for how to develop and write your crime novel. Our bespoke learning platform features separate forum spaces for all six teaching modules, arranged in a clear structure that’s easy to use. Our online learning space allows students to quickly find and take part in discussions and to locate task materials they’d like to refer back to.
BUILDING BLOCKS OF CRIME FICTION
Discover the eight key building blocks: crime, tone, theme, protagonist and antagonist, setting, investigation, suspense, and finale.
HEROES AND VILLAINS
Learn how to create compelling detectives and villains who will linger in the reader’s mind long after the story finishes.
MYSTERIES, PUZZLES AND CLUES
Find out how to set up multiple layers of intrigue, pose questions, create those all-important clues, and set red herrings.
PLOT AND PACING
Learn about crime-led and character-led openings, conflict, and suspense. Use our 10-step plan to finish your novel in eight to ten months.
BRINGING YOUR SETTING TO LIFE
A great setting can make your novel stand out from the pack and leave your readers wanting more. Vaseem shows you how to achieve this.
How to nail the detail – including crime scenes, forensics and when to consult an expert. Plus how to submit your novel to agents.