Before his untimely death in 2009, one of the best mystery novelists around was William G. Tapply, creator of the Brady Coyne mystery series.
Tapply’s novels live up to the cover blurbs — well-formed characters, tightly woven plots and elegant writing.
Tapply practiced what many of us who teach writing often preach, and he gives voice to some of those practices in an essay titled “Invisible Writing.”
The essay tells the story of what Tapply learned from his father — also an excellent writer — when he was beginning his craft. The essay emphasizes two major points I make with my students:
— pay attention to verbs (read more on this) and
— try to make your writing invisible to the reader.
The term I use for the second point is “modesty.” A good writer should try to put the content in the foreground and the writer in the background.
Tapply’s essay and his novels are well worth reading.
Get a FREE copy of Kill the Quarterback
Get a free digital copy of Jim Stovall's mystery novel, Kill the Quarterback. You will also get Jim's newsletter and advanced notice of publications, free downloads and a variety of information about what he is working on. Jim likes to stay in touch, so sign up today.