Q4U: I Could Never Write Mystery

Saturday, August 29, 2009
For those of you mystery writers, kudos. In my WIP, I've included a 'who done it' element. Honestly, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to write. Trying to drop just enough hints without giving away the truth is so much more complicated than playing Clue. The timing, hints, delivery, and pacing all have to be perfect.

My brain just isn't wired that way. Part of my problem is because the situation is so complicated.

I've gained new respect for mystery writer's everywhere. And I humbly ask for your help. Do any of you have any hints for how you do what you do?

3 comments:

  1. Anthony said...:

    Amber,

    I have successfully written a murder mystery and I can tell you there are no easy answers beyond the basics you already know (show vs. tell, elements of narrative fiction, pov, etc, etc.).

    The best advice I can offer is to seek mysteries that are written in the style you like and deconstruct them as you read them.

    I have a lot of respect for published mystery and romance writers. These genres are well defined but to remain fresh the author has to have a unique voice and at least a semi-fresh idea.

    In the murder mystery I wrote, I was determined to set aside the reader. That is, when I revealed a clue, it wasn't for the reader at all, but merely for my main character. This was the only way, for me, that I could do it. I had to set aside all my fears that they mystery was too easy or too hard for the reader, and simply make it difficult for the main character.

    Hope this helps in some way.

  1. In the murder mystery I wrote, I was determined to set aside the reader. That is, when I revealed a clue, it wasn't for the reader at all, but merely for my main character. This was the only way, for me, that I could do it. I had to set aside all my fears that they mystery was too easy or too hard for the reader, and simply make it difficult for the main character.

    Light bulb moment for me. Thanks Anthony!

  1. Anthony has given you great advice! My third novel that I have yet to rewrite or even look at in years is somewhat of a mystery - but more for the characters than the reader. I want to change that, though, and make it more of a mystery. This scares me, though! I can see how this will get complicated and difficult really fast...

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