How to Write Short Crime Stories

Jasmina Lozevska January 13, 2018 Comments Off on How to Write Short Crime Stories




Incoherent advice from several authors is a growing problem for new crime short crime story writers.

Fortunately, however, you won’t have to suffer from this problem if you follow the advice outlined in this guide.

Here is a simple 2-step checklist for writing short crime stories…

1. Getting started

Since it is a short crime story, the word count for short crime stories is usually not more than 30,000 words.

So, I recommend you stick with that.

For your story, plan on having 4 main characters.

Similarly, each chapter should focus on having at most 4 characters.

If you want to story to sound believable, develop a believable way by which your characters will react to situations.

2. Break your story into parts

Let’s assume you want your story to be at least 30,000 words, you can break down your story into the following steps;

  • The first 1000 words

Let some blood flow in the first 1,000 words. This will keep the readers glued to keep reading. This is important since most have a very short span of attention.

  • The first 3,000 words

Within the first 3,000 words, make sure that an important and one which is relevant to the story happens.

  • The first 5,000 words

Here you must establish your main characters. You must give your readers an idea of the characters and the way they react to specific situations.

Black Friday $10 300x250

At this point, you should establish the main plotline. This should give your readers an idea of the direction of the story.

  • The first 15,000 words

By the time the reader gets to this point, he should be so engrossed that he would not want to put down the storybook.

Since this is the midpoint of the book, you should ensure that the protagonist is on his way to uncovering a “vital clue”.

This would make your readers start imagining different ways the story is going to end.

  • The first 20,000 words

At this point, you should establish the fact that the protagonist can’t return from his quest.

You may provide a twist by including a scene of what happens if he turns back from his mission.

Also, you can build a situation from which the protagonist cannot escape.

  • From 25,000 words to the end

Obviously, this should provide a climax to your story.

Though the end should be a big revelation, you should neither rush it nor stretch it.

Rather include some twists of action, drama, and purpose.

Pro tip: incorporate a cliffhanger into your story where you can. But do not force it if you can’t.

Most of the best-selling books in this genre use this outline. Why not you?

If you can follow this simple formula as outlined, you can make your short crime stories a worthy read.

Comments are closed.