How to Write a MysteryWriting a Mystery
Taking The Mystery Out Of Writing Mysteries
When you saw the Monk story, do you recall the tip that saved the murderer? What was the fault of Anthony Hopkins, who proven he murdered his wif? One of my points - and I have one - is that authors often think that the most important part of a good secret is the resourcefulness of criminality, the elucidation of the evidence.
That' s why many authors are afraid to write even one riddle or comedy. Yes, the audience of mystery and mystery stories like narrowly drawn stories, ingenious little stakes and a certain surprising part. You should always try to include as many of these issues as possible in your detective stories or detective stories.
Let us begin with the basics: What is a secret? The easiest case is a history of the disturbance of the state. Crimes against the community are perpetrated - a man is killed, a bench is mugged, whatever. The perpetrator of the Pact - the murderer, the robber, the extortionist - we want to make things right in our time.
Be it a city policeman like Popeye Doyle in the Popeye Doyle scene in the France Association, a slovenly assassin investigator like Robert Kolumbo on TV or a tea-drinking, knocking old woman like Miss Marple, we want this one thing from our mysterious heroine above all else: We want to restore order. Not only the order of society, but also the investigation and dissolution of mental tensions are the best secrets, whether in Without A Trace or in murder On the Orient Express.
Or in other words, how do the protagonists react? Such as, in most enigmas, whether a criminal is suspected or not, he or she always has a mystery. "Storyline is a character under a lot of pressure. "Well, nothing increases the stressful levels of a group of personalities like killing one of them.
So how does that relate to the secret you're trying to write? Do you recall how it felt when a child smashed a windows at your old age and the director assembled you and all your mates? Do you recall the growing suspense as the director went down the line and interrogated each of you, sometimes even faked humour or affection, but always with the inexorable, eagle-eyed resolve of a carnivore looking for its booty?
Now, is that how the protagonists in your mystery novel are feeling? It is this contexts of distrust and misleading motifs that are decisive in most of the most mysterious or best straight-ahead enthrillers. Moreover, it is the decisive factor that prevents the insertion of necessary hints from acting as a simple reflection of the exhibition.
Exactly what you, the mystery author, want most. A further important part of this type of film, which is as important as the deception of the suspect, is the way the narrative lives. From Laura to Twin Peaks to Witness for the Prosecution, all known enigmas take place in a certain area of one' s being.
It is the rain in the Pacific Northwest, the designer industries, the UK courtroom worlds. When you think of a movie like All the President's Men as a mystery - and I do, because it fulfils all your criterions - then the background is the intriguing Washington policy scene. What does all this have to do with you and the secret you write?
First we look at your main characters. Many new mystery authors are disheartened here for a very comprehensible one. What is the most conflicting, unfortunate or even embarrassing part of your own being? Whether you believe it or not, here the seed of an interesting, uncommon hero is sutured first.
A lot of authors of famous detective shows and current thrillers are people in my personal office, and I have seen first-hand how their own problems, preconceptions and worries are interwoven into their personalities onscreen. Next we look at the state of your mystery storyline. Where do you live? You know the detail of your particular environment so well.
It is these detail that forms the background for the felony that enables the machination, the clash of deceptive, underhanded or too good-natured people. Apart from being critical to our understanding of the realities of history and giving us a glimpse of a universe that we may not know (or that we think we know but do not in fact know), a particular arenas offers the author invaluable help when it comes to creating stories and giving cues.
The best hints in a classical mystery, to put it bluntly, are deception. It is much simpler (and, I think, more organic) for the author who tries to evolve the tale and provide important pointers when the pointers come from the historical realm. Like if the villain uses some kind of ancient gun to perpetrate the felony, I'm much more likely to believe it in a tale that takes place behind the scenery of Colonial Williamsburg.
Secondly, because most good secrets only contain two or three relevant hints anyway. It seems to most new authors of Mystery that the story must be clued into. Also, keep in mind that many references point to something that is lacking as well as to something that is present: the unfounded killer gun, the lack of a ring on the victim's fingers.
Do you recall this classical interchange from Conan Doyle's Silver Blaze film? Three things to consider when you write mysteries: 1 ) define the protagonists singularity, 2) use the space in which the narration is set, and 3) hints (remember, few) that are derived from the particular facets of this area.
A last clue to awaken your creative mind in secret writing: is there a little-known fact, a peculiarity of your own teaching or tripping over the past or the sciences that has always fascinated you? I still find a way to interweave this hurtful part of the psychoanalytic narrative into a mystery storyline.
What is stored in your mind in this mind-rolodex that could be the seed of an notion of a mystery? Perhaps your mom will tell the tale of being hitting on by a stupid fellow in a pub who then became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Everyone has a history, an event, singular to themselves and to them alone. The only thing an author has to do is to "twist" this tale a little - the "what if" that tells all the stories - and a secret is created. Biggest secret of all.