Do you dream of writing a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel but don't know where to start?

Have you started a crime novel but aren't sure how to finish?

Have you written one or more novels that feel flat or lacking in depth but would like to learn how to create a deeper, richer book next time? 

If any of this sounds like you, this course can help. 

Based on the assumption that you are the expert on your novel, the How to Write
 a Crime Novel course will lead you through a series of open-ended, non-prescriptive questions and exercises that take you all the way from the seed of an idea to a finished book--or move you through a “stuck” spot in your story.

You'll learn:

  • how to create a strong foundation for your novel
  • create memorable characters and a compelling plot
  • keep yourself motivated
  • defeat your inner critic
  • . . . and much more

Although a few of the lessons are exclusive to crime writing, most are applicable to any novel. So whatever your genre, whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, this nuts & bolts workshop will give you practical, step-by-step strategies to take you from the initial idea to a completed first draft.

The course will be delivered LIVE, with the first session beginning on Tuesday, July 5. It consists of six modules. Recordings will be provided afterward for those who can't attend or who would like to revisit the material. Once the live lesson has been recorded, you can work through the exercises and review the video at your convenience. In addition to the course videos and exercises, you'll receive a "How to Write a Novel Toolkit," complete with tips for reaching the finish line, character creation questionnaires, timeline charts, and a downloadable 30-day planner.

But that's not all.

To keep you motivated and help you reach your goal, you'll also receive a series of 30 daily motivational messages. And if you get stuck, have a question, or just need a dose of encouragement, you can always email me at, and I'll answer as soon as I can. 

If you'd like to join the course, you have two payment options. You can pay in advance for $147, or you can make four monthly installments of $42 each. Just scroll down to enroll. As soon as you register, you'll have lifetime access to the course materials. Should I become unable to continue the course for any reason, you'll be given an opportunity to download all course materials for your personal use.

Still not sure? Here’s what previous participants have to say:

“I’m at Starbucks with no writer’s block, thanks to you! I have a plan now! Sorry about all the exclamation points but I had been stuck for months and it’s so nice to be UNstuck!” Jan L.

“Yesterday’s workshop was so good. Every section was helpful….I attended [a well-known writing workshop] a few years ago, and they were perfectly fine, but compared to yours, they’re quite sketchy. My point is not to criticize them but to point out that you offer what fiction writers really need.” – Lynette I.


Course Curriculum

Module 1

Welcome and Overview

Foundation Steps - What's Your Sub-Genre. and What Do you Know?

Crystalizing Your Idea

7 Steps to Your Finished Novel

Module 2

Your Protagonist/Main Character

Desires, Drives, Obstacles, and Conflicts

Module 3

Your Antagonist

Anatomy of the Crime

Suspects, Sleight of Hand, and Red Herrings

Module 4

Supporting Cast


Module 5

Storyboarding Your Novel

Scene Structure

Module 6

Ready to Write

Tips and Tricks for Writing a Novel in 30 Days without Losing Your Mind

How to Write a Crime Novel Toolkit: 

  • Guidebook
  • Planner
  • Reward Chart
  • Motivational Printable Poster

About the instructor


Jaden Terrell

Jaden Terrell is a Shamus Award finalist and the author of the internationally published, Nashville-based Jared McKean private detective mysteries. She write a semi-regular series of author interviews for the International Thriller Writers' The Big Thrill online Magazine and is also a contributor to the Killer Nashville Noir anthology and to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of writing exercises published by Tarcher/Penguin for writers of crime fiction. Terrell is a recipient of several awards for service to the crime writing community, including the 2009 Magnolia Award (Southeast Mystery Writers of America, or SEMWA), the SEMWA 2017 Golden Quill Award, and the 2017 Killer Nashville Builder Award. A former special education teacher with thirty years of experience as a teacher and trainer, Terrell is a writing coach and consultant who also teaches workshops on the craft and business of writing fiction. Contact her at:

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