Finding the body – Writing Workshop

24 Apr 2022

2:00 pm ‐ 4:00 pm

National Trust Members

Adult $20

Concession $18


General Admission

Adult $25

Concession $22


Join us for a writing workshop at The Heights and discover crime fiction through 'finding the body' scenes

During the workshop participants will be asked to write a ‘finding the body’ scene.

Author Dorothy Johnston will introduce the topic and read some stimulus material. Participants will also be asked to suggest their favourite ‘finding the body’ scenes.

While ‘finding the body’ is a specific event in a crime novel and is often covered in just a few pages, how an author describes finding a body has ramifications for the whole story. Who finds the body is an important question: is it a main character, or a minor one? Does that character become a suspect? How is the character changed by the experience? How is suspense built towards the event? Whereabouts in the story is the body found? Is it near the beginning, or some way along, after characters and suspects have been introduced? Of course there may be more than one body. The spacing of discoveries, if there is more than one, is an important aspect for an author to consider.

Since ‘finding the body’ scenes play a crucial role in all crime fiction, the exercise will also lead to a discussion of what makes for vivid, memorable writing.

Author biography

Dorothy Johnston was born in Geelong and now lives in Ocean Grove. She is currently working on a sea-change mystery series set in Queenscliff. The first four titles are Through a Camel’s Eye, The Swan Island Connection, Gerard Hardy’s Misfortune and The Lodeman, which was launched in February 2022.

Dorothy is the author of thirteen novels, including a quartet of mysteries set in Canberra, known as the Sandra Mahoney quartet. The first of these, The Trojan Dog, was joint winner, ACT Book of the Year.

Two of Dorothy’s literary novels, One for the Master and Ruth, have been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award.

She has published many short stories in journals and anthologies, along with essays in Australia’s major newspapers and journals.


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