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Do you have what it takes to write a crime fiction novel? It must have everything for an engaging plot that means drama and action. Most importantly, it is an intriguing plot that grips the reader’s attention from beginning to end. Each genre requires a different style of writing, whether it’s romance, adventure, or historical fiction.

What Is a Crime Novel?

How will you have what it takes to write crime fiction when you don’t even know what crime fiction is? So, in this section of the article, we will guide you on what is required to create the best crime fiction.

Usually, crime fiction books are built on a mystery. It takes the readers on a journey to solve this mystery, where we find a satisfying resolution in the end. Generally, this mystery is usually about a murder in the vein of a whodunit. Crime fiction is home to a variety of other subgenres that fall under this umbrella, such as Murder mystery, Detective stories, a Psychological Crime thriller, and more.

Do You Know What It Takes to Write Crime Fiction?

Learn, Learn, and Learn

When you’re new to the subject, the most important thing you can do is learn. You need to learn everything you can about the writing style and familiarise yourself with what works and doesn’t work when writing crime fiction.

You can learn all this by simply doing your research on existing crime fiction. Take a look at some classics, then shift to the modern-day best sellers, and don’t forget to check out trend-setting authors.

Know What You Write

It may sound a little odd because you haven’t committed a crime, but there is truth to this. Hear me out; crime fiction isn’t just about the crime. It’s about the relatable protagonist, the victim, the world the story takes place in, the people involved, and more. You just need to stitch it all together when you start writing.


If you don’t know what you’re writing, then have no fear. All you have to do is perform some research. It’s not like you’re writing a thesis; you don’t need to find scholarly articles. Do your research in terms of the genre. Check out the current best-selling crime fiction novels. Listen to some true crime podcasts and go study how you can create a realistic scene and a villain inspired by existing criminals.

Bonus tip: avoid getting into specific technical details. It could bore the readers and dull the reading experience.

Setting Up the Book and the First Chapter

A bad first chapter is most likely to kill your book. You need to start the book with a strong first chapter, regardless of whether or not you are writing crime fiction. The first chapter sets up the entire book and introduces readers to the main characters. For a strong first chapter, you need a compelling write-up.

Creating Relatable Characters

You have to create relatable characters. But what does that mean? It means creating a character a majority of readers can relate to. Here, you will have to avoid the mistake of creating a character with no imperfections. Most first-time writers make the mistake of creating a perfect hero. How can we relate to a perfect hero? A character without flaws when we are all imperfect and full of flaws. A good story has an imperfect character who takes you along a journey where you grow into a better person. It creates a story that you can also root for. How you write a character will play a great role in the story.

The Antagonist Matters

Imagine a character that pops up out of the blue with malicious intent and evil behavior without having any strong motivation. Does that sound like a story you’d like to read? It isn’t a story I’d like to read.

An intriguing crime fiction novel doesn’t only have a good protagonist but also a strong antagonist who drives the story forward, pushing the character’s limits and testing them with new twists and turns.

Create a memorable antagonist, and you will have an unforgettable story.

The Meaningless Victim(s)

Victims created simply for you to kill them off on the first page are meaningless. It’s a plot device of no real value addition. It’s a common mistake in countless existing crime fiction books, and it remains consistently ineffective. Creating a strong backstory for your characters will pull the readers toward the pursuit of justice. Moreover, it leaves a stronger emotional impact on the readers.

Where Does the Story Take Place?

While characters are important, so is the location of your story. Where the story takes place will have a major impact on the crime fiction novel. A small-town crime requires an intimate setting because everyone knows everyone here. In contrast, a large city has a different setting and is completely different from a story that takes place in a small town. Take our advice about writing what you know and choose a location you are familiar with so that it’s not a big issue when you start writing.

The Last Minute Reveal

A riveting crime fiction is full of twists and turns and the unsolved mystery. It keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they read on. It should have them guessing and theorizing about how it will all unfold. Use what you can to keep the mystery alive and engaging. Utilize red herrings, misdirection, and cliffhangers, which will have the readers in love with your crime fiction novel.

Don’t be a cliché

Spoiled by sequels, prequels, and reboots, we have enough of the same content with the same clichés. We all desperately need something that is not a cliché. Let your creative juices flow and find new and innovative plot points. Think out of the box and come up with creative ideas.


In conclusion, you have the tools at your disposal. All you have to do is start writing now. Don’t forget to create your hero with flaws, the antagonist we won’t forget, the victim that isn’t ignored, a location you know, a compelling mystery, and avoiding clichés.

If you want an example to follow, check out J.A. Carlton’s Wednesday’s Child: The Freedom Fighters. It is THE crime fiction novel to read. With the leader of the Delta Squad on the run from the government, her Commander and team would do whatever it takes to keep her alive and thwart the enemy’s advances.

Don’t miss out. It is the perfect crime fiction novel out there.




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