On writing for the reader who figures it out by page 50, and other advice from @lauramlippman #fridayinterview #crimefiction

“If the crime writer is playing fair with you, you have all of the information that you need” to solve the mystery. That’s crime novelist Laura Lippman, speaking at the Columbus Museum of Art on May 4 as part of the Thurber House Evening With Authors series. Snippets from her funny, insightful and gracious talk, which included discussion of her new book, Wilde Lake,  are filling in for this week’s #fridayinterview.

_ “I’m going to write for the person who figures it out by page 50.” Lippman said that with so many mysteries out there, she no longer tries to come up with the most daring puzzle, but instead focuses on the story. She considers it a success when people keep reading “…because you want to see what happens to the characters when they figure it out.”

_ “My job is to get up every morning, Monday through Friday, and try to write a minimum of 1,000 words.” Lippman was responding to a question about inspiration, noting that when it comes down to it, she has a job to do each day like everyone else.

_ “I really believe in good habits.” Lippman said she prefers this description to the notion of being disciplined. More importantly, she stressed the value of having “manageable habits.” As she put it, it’s easy to say, “I’m going to write the whole weekend,” but you have to balance your writing goals with living your life.

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