Maybe the story prompts it. The difficulty, the sheer, agonizing torture, of writing a murder mystery is telling a good story while, at the same time, constructing a challenging puzzle. Readers will chew you up and spit you out if you get it wrong, and light research is not enough to get you through.
The ingredients of a good mystery include structure as well as content. A character who seems to be more suspicious or complicit than he actually is. I did a quick Google search for innovative murder methods and, as you might imagine, the resulting list was scary long.
This one tracks the offstage action—what those lying suspects were really doing, and when, and why. The best mystery writers have sleuths professional or amateur who come alive on the page and often reappear in multiple books. This allows them to use their imaginations to work with the main character to solve the crime.
Trust me on this. Some devious crime has been committed, or an unthinkable act has occurred to which there is no obvious solution. More importantly, the reader will refuse to believe or accept the premise of the story if it is too absurd. A murder in a police precinct.
A flashlight blinking on and off in a window at the same time every night might seem ominous at first. For the first chapter, favour brevity. My first novel has pages. How to write a mystery - getting ideas Start with real-life crime. Readers want to identify with the hero, to experience the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of seeing the perpetrator punished.
And if you post, please leave feedback for your fellow writers. This style of writing creates an environment of danger, suspense and curiosity. One more quick suggestion for outlining, this from Scott Meredith and Algis Budrys. Experience has proved her right. The term is borrowed from the custom of training dogs to hunt using the scent of dried herring, which turns red from being smoked.
When adding red herrings to your book, be sure not to overuse them. If the Sleuth is an Amateur, then there needs to be a convincing reason that they be permitted to investigate the affair in the first place.
What your characters say and do, how they look and what they hide all contribute to creating a mysterious, uncertain mood. A road-trip in a motorhome. Know the ending of the book in advance.
The example above shows the power of delaying explanation, sometimes. At the same time, a mystery is often set up as a kind of puzzle or game for readers, who analyze clues and try to solve the mystery themselves.
You can practically give the reader the solution up front and by the time they reach the middle of the book, they will have forgotten it. Dickens sets us up to believe that the benefactor is the wealthy Miss Havisham, but we later discover the real benefactor was another, more unsavoury character.
Employ dialogue with strange turns, interruptions, menacing tones or other elements that give the reader a feeling of unpredictability.
We might as well get that straight from the outset.
I readied my pen, certain as ever that Seeker's thoughts would be well worth preserving. Mystery hooked me that day, and has been leading me around by the nose ever since.
They have memorable characters, an exciting plot, lively dialogue and writing that "shows" instead of "tells". The difficulty, the sheer, agonizing torture, of writing a murder mystery is telling a good story while, at the same time, constructing a challenging puzzle. The story is far more important than the puzzle—the book should be driven by character conflict, not the need to reveal clues.
How to Write a Mystery, Writing Thrillers. Trying your hand at writing thrillers – the most exciting and suspenseful of all genres? Look no further for guidelines on crafting a compelling plot, creating incredible characters, constructing an airtight mystery, and much more.
Novel Writing Advice: How to Write Battle Scenes. By: Guest. Sep 11, · How to Write a Mystery Story.
In this Article: Article Summary Preparing to Write Developing Your Main Character and Outlining the Story Writing the Story Mystery Story Help Community Q&A A good mystery story will have fascinating characters, exciting suspense, and a puzzle that keeps you turning the pages%().
Which is why many writers are scared to death of even trying to write a mystery or thriller. Fear no more. Yes, viewers of mysteries and thrillers like tightly-plotted narratives, clever red herrings, and a certain element of surprise.
Some writers pants their way through a novel, but how they do is a mystery to me. My novels start with an outline, and that outline starts with the murder—even when the killing happens before the start of the book. The outline doesn’t need huge detail, but it should include every major scene (and major clue) in the novel.
It gives you a road map and helps you keep your sleuth on course when everyone starts lying. In screenwriting, this act is called "Fun and Games" or "the promise of the premise." In a mystery novel, it's the investigation into the murder.
While I do plot it, it's a little less defined than Act One.How to write a mystery novel organically