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A crime writer is a writer with a specific interest in writing about crime. Crime writers can write for a number of different venues and their work is highly variable in nature. Many bookstores carry their work, and they also can publish in magazines and newspapers, discussing newsworthy crime ranging from high profile murder cases to white collar crime.
Some crime writers focus on the production of crime fiction. Fiction authors can write mystery novels and short stories, and the detective story is one of the oldest forms of fiction. Some fiction authors have backgrounds in fields like criminal investigation and may actively work on the investigation and prosecution of crimes. Several notable medical examiners, prosecutors, and investigators write crime fiction in addition to their day jobs.
Other crime writers are interested in true crime. This includes the book genre of true crime, as well as crime reporting for newspapers and magazines. A crime writer who follows true crime may be interested in crimes for a number of reasons, ranging from their peculiarity to their impact on society. Some authors produce both true crime and fiction work. As with fiction authors, some true crime authors have backgrounds or jobs in the realm of criminal investigation.
A successful crime writer usually engages in extensive research to make writing engaging, compelling, and believable. For fiction writers, this may involve observing criminal procedure, attending trials, and consulting experts in the field to get feedback as a book is developed. The goal is to make the action in the book realistic, and in some cases to inform readers about how crimes are investigated and prosecuted.
A true crime writer conducts interviews with victims and survivors, as well as investigators involved in the process and members of the community. If possible, accused and suspected people are also interviewed to collect information from their perspective. In addition to amassing interviews that will be used to narrate the story, a true crime writer may also visit sites involved in a crime and view evidence by special arrangement.
No special requirements are needed to become a crime writer. Some people go to college or attend writing classes to gain experience and training, while establishing connections. Other people simply start writing and then attempt to sell their pieces. An eye for detail, genuine interest in criminal investigation, and skill with words are certainly beneficial skills to have in order to become a successful crime writer.