cover image Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Patricia Highsmith. St. Martin's Press, $14.99 (145pp) ISBN 978-0-312-28666-8

From the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley comes a how-to manual on her craft. In Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, the late Patricia Highsmith gives advice on generating ideas (""It is amusing to let the imagination play with such incidents as a faintly heard song and an invaded apartment, and to see what evolves from them""), helpful practices (keep a notebook), overarching philosophies (""The first person you should think of pleasing, in writing a book, is yourself"") and specific craft issues (""where should one place the climax in a book?""). The advice is all sound (particularly her ideas on ""almost incredible"" coincidences), and her status as a suspense heavyweight and a commercial success make her book eminently credible. ( Sept.)