Anatomy of a Mystery: Crafting Better Crime Drama

Anatomy of a Mystery: Crafting Better Crime Drama

  • $79.99
Shipping calculated at checkout.

What makes for best-selling suspense? What elements go into a top box office thriller? How do you craft a crowd-pleasing TV crime drama? This OnDemand webinar discusses foundational principles of crime and mystery writing that will help you ramp up the intrigue, suspense, and thrill of your next project – whether short story, novel, film, or other media! Instructor Jennifer Dornbush focuses primarily on structure, creating better tension, deeper character development, and building successful and suspenseful evidence trails. Suggested prerequisite viewing: Prisoners Stranger Things.


  • How to break down a crime story for plot, trails of evidence, and character development
  • The 15 story points that give you a killer tight plot
  • How to use 6 types of evidence to create solid clue trails
  • How to build your story through motive, opportunity, and means
  • How to use one of the 3 forms of love to raise the stakes
  • How to use 10 story tropes to elevate tension and suspense
  • How to discover amazing story ideas for your next great crime fiction

Jennifer Graeser Dornbush is a screenwriter, author, international speaker, and forensic specialist. Raised as the daughter of a medical examiner whose office was in their home, forensics is infused into her DNA. As a screenwriter, she wrote the theatrically released film and novel, God Bless the Broken Road (2018), and has worked in TV, developing and writing both original and adapted work. As an author, Jennifer penned the crime writer’s guide Forensic Speak; suspense thriller, Hole in the Woods; and mystery series The Coroner’s Daughter, optioned by Lifetime TV. She is also penning the scripts. Jennifer contributed to the upcoming Murder, Music & Mystery anthology (Blackstone, 2022). She is a sought-out teacher, speaker, and mentor. Connect with Jennifer on IG @JGDornbush.

Writer's Digest Shop does not offer any refunds for the OnDemand Webinar. All sales are final.

We Also Recommend