I’ve been contemplating writing a crime-based story for some time now, I find crime enthralling and I love the drama, tension and suspense that the novels bring with them. However, I cannot shake the fact that I simply have no idea where to begin- how does one go about writing a crime novel? As I am neither a criminal or police officer, I am left with absolutely no experience in the field- thus I feel that if I were to attempt a plot, it would lack substance. Now of course, in a crime novel the 'crime' is nearly always the foundation of the story; although sometimes we see plots designed to plague the mind of the reader with the sadistic criminal’s thoughts, most are build around a water tight crime. Seemingly impossible to solve at first, with numerous red-herrings thrown into the mix, we are all left bemused until our wily detective unravels this mystery to unveil the true nature of the criminal. Granted, this is not the structure of all great crime novels. Of course we could turn to some of the great crime fiction writers for inspiration, such as James Ellroy, Agatha Christie and Steig Larsson. All of the above authors have written some incredible crime novels, with plots twisted more than a *insert Ysavvryl metaphor*. Yet I fear that we could study these novels to our hearts content, and they would still not open us to the minds of the author and how they constructed their brilliant crimes, and since asking them is clearly out of the question- especially with regards to Christie and Larsson. I thought I would turn this question to the forums… How do you construct a brilliant crime? In a novel of course, I don’t want to promote crime here… I’m, talking about working back through the plot here, where do you start? The plot has to be watertight, how do you work out the kinks? Where should you lead your readers? How much should they know, how much is too much? How confused can you make the reader whilst still keeping them baited. All of this is pretty damn difficult to do, so how would you go about it? In my opinion, for a crime novel to be successful it must have: . A brilliant crime, something original- recreating The Da Vinci Code isn’t going to win you any awards. . A brilliant criminal, amidst other intriguing characters . Red-Herrings, unseen twist and turns and surprise events . Mystery, something even the great detective is unable to answer. Please feel free to add to this list as you see fit, I am somewhat running out of time and have had to get it down rather hastily- meaning much has probably gone amiss or escaped my mind. If you have any opinions on the topic please feel free to answer, but no one-liners please.