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Advice, Advice Advice…. What advice could I give new writers on how to write Urban Fiction Legal Thrillers? HMMMM. Well you do know as a lawyer I’m allergic to giving free advice. So instead of charging my usual 500 hour fee rate, I will let you, gentle reader, in on how to do this.
There are three keys to writing this type of book.
The first key to writing an urban fiction legal thriller is that you have to know something about the legal system. I cannot tell you how many books, by some of the most famous authors in the world I have thrown down in disgust because they are so wrong on the law and how the criminal justice system works. Legal thrillers work only when they have a basis in reality and how the law operates. Now you don’t have to be a lawyer for this to be in your story. All you have to do is to sit in a courtroom anywhere in the country and watch cases (pleas and trials)for about a month and you will be surprised how much legal jargon and how much of the legal process you will pick up that way. DO NOT,I repeat DO NOT watch movies like “The Firm” or “Legal Eagles”. They are Hollywood’s idea of trial work. If you want Hollywood’s idea of trial work you might as well make the Judge an elf and the prosecutor a demon. It will have just as much of a basis in reality as that stuff does
The second key is to actually put trial work into your novel. I know as a criminal trial lawyer, I’m prejudice against non-trial lawyers but I find that all the people who have read my work love the insights into the justice system that my book gives them. So if you truly want to write a legal thriller, you have to have more than a protagonist who is a lawyer. You have to insert legal work into the book, which should be easy since you have spent a month in a courthouse observing how lawyers work. People are always curious about the lawyers and law and if you put that element in your book you already have quite a few readers hooked.
Lastly, the most important key to writing an Urban Fiction Legal thriller is sitting your butt in a chair and actually writing. You can read all the books in the world about how to be a writer but you will never be one until you are one. Sit at a computer or put pen to paper but you just have to do it. Writing isn’t easy and can be very daunting. But just realize no one is going to shoot you or put you in jail if they don’t like your writing, but no one will ever like your work if you never create it.