Mystery Writing Workshop

Jumpstart your career as a professional mystery writer, step by step

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Begin Your Journey to the Bestseller List Today

Steve and Dani Alcorn show you how to create your original novel or screenplay, step by step.

  • Learn all about the most popular mystery genres.
  • Explore plot techniques for creating the perfect crime scene, interviewing witnesses, and more.
  • Discover the easy way to structure your character's story.
  • Learn techniques that will bring your writing to life.
  • Publish your novel using simple steps.
  • Brainstorm marketing and sales techniques that will make you a bestseller!


In this lively and fun course, author and mentor Steve Alcorn and screenwriter Dani Alcorn show you how to achieve success. During the past decades they've helped more than 30,000 aspiring writers structure their stories, and many are now in print. You can be next!

The BEST COURSE CHOICE for those with a mystery idea!

Perhaps you've started already on your novel or screenplay and have stalled out with “writer's block." Don't worry – we'll help you bust the block and get you writing again. Or you maybe you've finished your manuscript and are shocked to find it simply lacks the pizzazz that'll put it on the bestseller list. No problem – we'll help you polish your manuscript 'til it shines!

What are the requirements?

  • Open to all aspiring writers, young or old, experienced or just getting started

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 40 lectures and 6 hours of content!
  • Downloadable, printable handouts and exercises
  • 48 Discussion Areas where you can share your work and get feedback
  • Explore the Wide Realm of Mystery
  • Discover Your Dramatic Elements
  • Develop Compelling Characters
  • Construct Your Story in Three Acts
  • Learn How To Write Effective Scenes
  • Explore Viewpoint, Voice and Tense
  • Add Conflict, Mystery and Suspense
  • Polish Your Manuscript
  • Develop a Marketing Plan
  • Get Published

Learn Techniques for Creating Great Mysteries

  • What makes a mystery a mystery?
  • Where is the scene of the crime? Did your criminal plan it in advance? Or was it a crime of passion?
  • What clues will lead your detective to the criminal? Who will your detective interview, and when?
  • Can you still include the crime even if it happened before your story begins?

Once you've plotted the perfect crime...

We'll help you to bring it to life using story structure. You'll create your characters, and structure their story in three acts. It's a proven way to make sure your audience is engaged from page one.

Then we'll help you turn that structure into a manuscript.

Use Dialogue that Engages

Not all dialogue is created equal. In this online course you'll learn how to create cracking dialogue that can't be ignored. You'll use dialogue to define character traits and perspectives. You'll also craft unique and definitive voices to match each persona.

Create Conflict, Mystery & Suspense

Unanswered questions are what keep readers interested. This section will show you how to develop lucid complexity, strategic foreshadowing, and fascinating relationships to entice readers to keep turning the pages.

Develop Structure and Pacing

Learn to save countless hours of revision by outlining plot points in the beginning. Write your novel using Three Act Structure and our Nine Story Structure Checkpoints to control pacing and plot. This structure gives your novel a polished and professional appeal, and you'll never write yourself into a corner.

Be Your Own Editor

If you want your book to be taken seriously, you need a clean, compelling, error-free manuscript. This section will help you turn your draft into a polished and professional manuscript that agents are keen to read.

Get Published

These days it's not enough just to complete a novel. Every author needs a platform to sell their story. This section will outline the pros and cons of agents, and self-publishing / self-promotion, so you can choose the path that's best for you.

“My lifetime dream? Getting published. I don't need a 4-year Course!"
“It has been my life-long dream to become a published author but I had no idea where to start. I have an idea for a good book but needed guidance on how to write it. I took this course to get help, and I am truly impressed by the amount of information presented. I do not need to take a 4-year course on Creative Writing. I completed the course in a few months in my free time. I really loved the way Steve Alcorn presented the materials and the way he showed examples. Thank you Steve for this amazing course!" — Michelle Apolo

Thousands and thousands of successful authors started with no more than you: an idea and the drive to develop it into a page-turner. Your idea may be based in your own experiences. Your book concept may be a complete flight of fancy. What matters is what you DO with your idea.

We break the process down so you CAN write your novel or screenplay.

Enroll in Course for $299

Mystery Writing Workshop Gives You:

  • Lifetime access to 48 info-packed video lectures
  • Over six solid hours of knowledgeable instruction
  • Discussion areas in EVERY lesson to post your work and get feedback

You also become one in a community, all working hard to achieve the same goal: to write a novel and see it published. And you can browse and participate in all the discussions!

Write Your Mystery Novel or Screenplay in 6 Simple Steps

This is a lively and enjoyable course in which you will learn the ins-and-outs of not just the writing craft but the business, too. Hang on tight because you're going to learn all about both!

Step 1: You'll Learn What Makes Great Mysteries

By looking at great novels and how the genre has changed, you'll find sparks to fan the flames of your own ideas.

Step 2: You'll Construct the Perfect Crime

We'll talk about key scenes that occur in mystery novels to help you plan the perfect crime and scatter clues for your detective and readers.

Step 3: Structure Your Story

Your learn the crucial difference between story and plot. You'll create your characters. And you'll discover the four Dramatic Elements that make EVERY great story sizzle.

You'll understand “Three Act Structure" and see a graphic demonstration of the “dramatic curve" that underlies virtually all great writings, movies, and even story-telling

You'll discover the three classic points to cover in “Act 1" to hook readers as soon as they've read the first few pages.

You'll learn the secret of keeping your readers engaged and excited as your novel become more deeply developed and filled with dramatic tension in “Act 2."

And you'll learn how to build to a dramatic, crashing conclusion in “Act 3". Our “big finish" technique makes reading your book an experience your readers will not forget…and which just might bring you critical acclaim!

Step 4: You'll Create Your Manuscript

You'll discover why professional writers repeat “Scene and Sequel" throughout their stories, and why you should, too.

No conflict? No story. Learn why and how to create conflict three clever ways.

Learn how to keep your readers' suspense high without overdoing it.

Discover the subtleties of keeping readers glued by weaving mystery into your writing.

You'll learn to regulate the “pace" of your novel so it moves smoothly without dragging or hurrying unnecessarily.

Step 5: You'll Learn to Polish your Manuscript

We'll teach you our “Write Big" technique that can turn a flat novel into a sparkling success.

And we'll teach you to “Write Well" — editing secrets that help you use the right words and language, and cut out the wrong ones.

Step 6: You'll Discover how to actually SELL Your Manuscript

We'll show you how to create the “collateral material" you need to promote and present your novel to publishers.

You'll receive our Manuscript Evaluation Checklist, your simple tool to make sure EVERYTHING'S ready.

And you'll learn proven insider secrets of how to actually get published and sell your work!

Enroll in Course for $299

What is the target audience for this workshop?

  • First-Time Authors
  • If Your Manuscript Needs Polish
  • If Your Manuscript is Unfinished
  • Authors Who Want to Get Published

Your Instructors

Steve is the author of many novels and non-fiction books. His publications include mysteries, young adult novels, a romance novel, children's books, history and non-fiction about theme park design, and the writer's guide How to Fix Your Novel.

Steve is also the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc, the company that provides the audio and video systems used in nearly all of the world's theme parks. In his spare time he enjoys world travel, sculpture and music composition.

During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 aspiring authors structure their novels. Many of his students are now published authors.

Dani is a Chicago-based screenwriter and communication designer. She is the author of the Young Adult novel The Last Telepath, and three screenplays:

  • A Quintessence of Dust, a science fiction riff on what would happen if Hamlet met Bladerunner
  • How to Catch an Englishman, a romantic comedy about moving overseas in search of an eligible bachelor
  • Do No Harm, a drama that explores the ethical choices facing a heart surgeon when her personal and professional lives collide

Dani graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University, where she majored in Psychology and Radio, Television, & Film.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!