Sue Grafton: The Novel Journal


  Hi…I hope that you are all having a peaceful evening. Or day.

I always look forward to reading KillZone‘s James Scott Bell‘s Sunday post. I found yesterday’s particularly interesting for Bell wrote about a talk he was giving while Sue Grafton was in the audience. Many of you might know Grafton as the author of the alphabetical series. Her female hard-boiled private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, was first introduced in A is for Alibi.

Grafton is now at W.

 Bell asked Grafton how she makes the magic happen book after book.

Grafton gets her MoJo running by keeping a Novel Journal. She begins by taping into how she’s feeling and how she feels about her writing at that moment. The Novel Journal is, according to Grafton, “her most valuable tool.” Click here for more on this informative post.

And, for an interesting peek into how Grafton uses the Writing Journal click here.

 But Grafton also was the editor of Writing Mysteries – a collection of advice from some of Mystery Writers of America’s most successful writers. It is an excellent book for anyone looking for a road map to writing mysteries and Grafton’s introduction as editor is filled with generous wisdom about writing.

30 thoughts on “Sue Grafton: The Novel Journal

  1. I like the Novel Journal idea. Shows me that a book needs planning, and I’ve been a pantser too long. Or half pantser, half planner (plotter), and think I need to be more of the latter. Thanks for this great post, Carol.


  2. I have read all of the alphabet up to the letter “S” or “T” since I used to really rush to the library to read Sue Grafton’s books. Her first one, “A” is for Alibi, got me hooked. I appreciate all the fine authors featured in this anthology. This was an interesting post, Carol!


  3. Grafton’s books sound interesting and I love the alphabetical winks over here…
    Kinsey Millhone seems to be a captivating character indeed.
    Thanks for sharing, dear Carol… All the very best to you!, Aquileana 😀


  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post Carol. I love her novel journaling method. I too am somewhat of a pantser but I have noticed that I am slowly converting over to a plotter and finding it a tad more organized and helpful. Great post! 🙂


    • Thanks, Debby for stopping by and commenting. I know how busy you must be with your move and book promo. I’m in the same boat – in the process of selling my condo and moving into another one and of course trying to write my next book. 🙂
      I’ve been enjoying your book, Words We Carry. It’s a pleasure to read.
      Enjoy your week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for reading Carol. And wow, so we are both in the moving boat. I know only too well how stolen my moments are for getting some writing done. I was nearly finished my next book last month with everything came down at once so I won’t be publishing that book until the spring now. I have also been working on the sequel to my first book Conflicted Hearts will take the better part of next year to complete. I am very excited to read your newest book, and will be starting it very soon! 🙂


  5. sounds great Carol, I’ll be checking this one out. I’m a big Sue G. fan, have read most of her books.

    hope you are having a good day.

    are you drowning in snow??? hang on, it will melt. 😉


  6. I wonder how many of us begin as pantsers with our first stories and then gradually shift toward more planning. I know that’s how the process is going for me and many other bloggers. I’m sure someone’s done a study at some point…. 🙂


  7. I like the Novel Journal idea, it is very powerful to read more and explore. Sue Grafton Author Sue Grafton is the creator of the popular mystery novels featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, which began with 1982’s A Is for Alibi.


  8. I have yet to read Sue’s work. Lately though I’m trying to make my way more through the works of female authors and also authors of different cultural backgrounds so perhaps she will be someone I will check out. I have definitely heard of her and her many works.


  9. Love that series. I have started to wonder where she’ll go once the alphabet is done. I never worried about that before, say, when I was reading ‘E is for Evidence’


    • Hi Jacqui-
      Only three more letters to go. I too wonder what will happen to her Kinsey Millhone character. Will she have her die? Retire? Put her in other types of mystery novels? Her Z mystery will surely be a bestseller even before she’s written it. All her fans will want to know what will happen to Millhone.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s always a pleasur to see you here.


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