Henry Sutton
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Plot and point of view
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The specifics of plot and point of view, and how they are the engines of long-form crime fiction are analysed practically and critically. Henry Sutton also draws on his own writing, and journey into crime fiction. Simplifying and being consistent with point of view and determining character intent are discussed. Two types of plot emerge: one, concerned with action, events and inciting incidents; the other being more organic and necessary and focused on character motivation and conflict. Puzzle plots are deemed of lesser importance than character-led plots. Readers’ enjoyment and engagement to character ahead of twisty plots are articulated. Aristotle’s Poetics is laid out as foundational, while modern and contemporary crime writers’ various practical approaches to plotting and planning prove that there are no right and wrong ways, only widely different approaches resulting in widely different styles. Positions from great modern genre writers such as Patricia Highsmith, Stephen King, Ruth Rendell and Walter Mosley are explored through citation. Further, the intricacies of hard-boiled fiction and noir fiction are explained, along with voice; specifically the voice of the novel, and how this might diverge from a writer’s voice and DNA.

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