Writing Detectives: Learn From a Pro

Writing DetectivesStruggling with writing detectives? Or maybe you want to dig deeper into your detective character. Either way, I’ve got a special opportunity for you.

Some of you may remember a previous guest I had on the blog, Adam from WritersDetective.com. Adam works in Major Crimes on the West Coast.

The guest post is entitled, What it Feels Like Inside a Crime Scene: A Detective’s POV.  In which, he captured the memory of his first crime scene.

To help crime writers, Adam created an online course that will teach you about writing detectives. Each Saturday at 9am Pacific Time, he’ll meet you online to cover all the things you should know about the detective you’ve created. If you can’t be online for the discussion, each week’s session will be recorded and made available to you.

At the time of this posting he’s probably on Week 3. *awkward smile* Oops. I’ve been held up in my writer’s cave for most of November, polishing my new thriller, Wings of Mayhem, which I finally sent to my publisher last night with only hours left to spare before the end-of-year deadline. Whew!

Adam has created such a valuable opportunity for crime writers and/or anyone with detectives in their book(s). Which is why I’m shining a light on exactly what we’ll learn. You can even get a feel for the course by listening to the first podcast without subscribing. At the end of this post I’ll show you where to go.

Each podcast is extremely detailed and lasts about an hour, give or take.

Writing Detectives: Class Outline

Week 1 covers the basics of the job:

How Detectives get their cases.
Knowing when to make the arrest.
What it takes to become a Detective.
The realities of daily life.
What is a Murder Book?

Week 2 moves on to Character Creation:

Creating a believable character.
How to create a story out of a character profile.
The personality traits that every Detective develops.
The specialty training that Detectives receive.

Week 3 is all about what makes a Detective GREAT at their job and how to bring that to life in your story:

Understanding Interview & Interrogation.
The realities of the “Right to Remain Silent.”
Does Good Cop / Bad Cop really work?
What’s surveillance really like?

Week 4 is about the Departments your characters work for:

The differences between small and large departments.
The importance of rank with your characters.
Specialty Units (such as SWAT and many others).
The realities of inter-department relationships.
Techniques for improving your research about your character’s agency.

Finally, Week 5 will cover equipment and other technical stuff:

The gun belt and all the things that go in it.
Are those vests really “bulletproof” and how noticeable are they?
Police cars – and what can that computer in the car actually do?
Police helicopters – FLIR.

The course will conclude with a REVERSE-FINAL EXAM. Unlike any class you’ve taken before, YOU write the final and Adam will your questions. The REVERSE-FINAL EXAM is your opportunity to get all of your remaining questions answered. This is where you can get your story-specific questions personally answered.  Click here to enroll!

Check out the first podcast at: WritersDetective 5-Week Course.

Happy writing!

About Sue Coletta

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is a multi-published author in numerous anthologies, and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue’s a radio show host—check out "Partners In Crime" in the menu bar—the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.


  1. The reverse final is a very clever and helpful idea

  2. It sounds like a highly informative course and a great resource, Sue. Thanks for sharing.
    Mae Clair recently posted…New Release: Food for Poe by Mae Clair #Christmas #Cats #SweetRomanceMy Profile

  3. Sounds very interesting!
    Joycelin Leahy recently posted…The Gangster in the Garden – PhotographyMy Profile

  4. Wow! What a great idea for a course, and sounds really interesting, too, Sue! Thanks for sharing.
    Margot Kinberg recently posted…I Knew Right Away, From the Very First Day*My Profile

    • I know, Margot, huh? I just learned this 5-Week course is a jumping off point for a more in-depth course where he’ll deep dive into each topic, devoting a solid hour to each one. That way crime writers can pick and choose what they want to specialize in.

  5. You always find such cool stuff. This would be a great contest prize for crime writers, paid admission to this webinar.
    Craig recently posted…Hello! Is this thing on?My Profile

  6. This looks really good, Sue, and if it’s coming from Adam I know it’ll be 100% accurate!
    Garry Rodgers recently posted…THE GRIM SWEEPER – MAKING A KILLING IN CRIME SCENE CLEAN-UPMy Profile

  7. Is there a charge for the course?
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