Camilla Läckberg's Top Writing Tips

Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg has sold over 8million books. Her first book -The Ice Princess - was written after she did a creative writing course. Here, Camilla shares her top tips for writing crime fiction.

Alibi logo

Camilla Läckberg was born in 1974, and grew up in Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden. As a girl, she was always telling stories but for a long time writing remained merely a dream for Camilla.

After graduating as an economist, she moved to Stockholm, with her dream of being a novelist still very much alive. Finally she took a writing course. Her tutor advised her to set the plot in a place she knew well, and where better than her childhood home – so she wrote The Ice Princess. Camilla’s novels have enjoyed critical acclaim - to date she has sold over 8 million books.

Top short story advice from Camilla

Setting a scene is crucial to a short story’s success. The mood, the atmosphere, the setting; it all has to be achieved with only a handful of words. It has to be done quickly and effectively, and if it’s done right, it will enable the whole story to flow. A sense of place will support your characters, facilitate your plot, and paint a strong picture in the mind of your reader.

To write a good short story, you must be able to evoke a mood and a feeling almost immediately. I set my books in the real life Swedish fishing community of Fjallbacka, which is somewhere I’m very familiar with. The location is integral to the plot as it affects the characters and they themselves are essentially part of the landscape.

Camilla's top five tips for writing a good short story:

  • Consider how a sense of place will assist in the other elements of the plot

  • Ensure you have a clear idea in your mind of how and where you are setting it

  • Think about how your characters will interact with their surroundings

  • Know the ending, and how you’re going to get there. With crime in particular, you need a twist in the tale.

  • It’s a short story, keep it simple and don’t over complicate the plot