Crime writing: an introduction

Course Dates: 30/05/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Gerry Byrne

Crime writing is one of the most popular genres on the fiction market, but what special considerations are there for writers when it comes to describing dastardly deeds on the page? This fun but informative day workshop explores character, plot, dialogue, pacing and atmosphere in the crime writing genre.


What is the course about?

This is a practical course ideally designed for participants who are already writing. Some models of strong crime writing will be used for purposes of illustration and analysis. Students will benefit from stimulating writing exercises, feedback and encouragement.

The Tutor
Gerry Byrne's crime novel, Ruby, is published by Victor Gollancz and her poetry and short stories have appeared in many magazines. She received a London Arts Board bursary for her work-in-progress, Survivors. She is currently working on a non-fiction guide to novel writing, Writing with Both Hands.

Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

- Why crime?
- Beginnings
- Point of view
- Character and conflict
- Plot schema
- Setting and atmosphere
- Evaluation and review.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Respond to and assess a piece of writing with sensitivity
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic elements of the genre
- Discuss the particular constraints and problems of the genre
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection of character, plot and conflict.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

For beginning and more experienced writers who read crime fiction and would like to try their hand at writing in the genre.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will consist of a mixture of taught themes, in-class exercises and feedback on students' work.

All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Pens, paper, notebooks, previous work if wished.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

All students are invited to join us at Build Talks Back, our monthly performance night for Build writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Interesting course and a good tutor that included interesting and informative discussion with everyone.
Course Rating
Review by Maria ..writing student / (Posted on 08/06/2019)
Really enjoyable course, we covered a wide range of topics in the time available. At the end of the course I felt like my writer's block had finally lifted!
Course Rating
Review by AshT / (Posted on 20/02/2017)
Really enjoyable course, we covered a wide range of topics in the time available. At the end of the course I felt like my writers block had finally lifted!
Course Rating
Review by AshT / (Posted on 30/06/2015)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HW084

Sat, day, 30 May - 30 May '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £59.00
Concession: £24.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

Download form & post

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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