How to Write a Mystery StoryWriting a mystery story
Removing the mystery from secrecy
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 the most important part of a good mystery is the resourcefulness of criminality, the elucidation of evidence.
That' s why many authors are afraid to write even one riddle or comedy. Yes, audiences of mystery and mystery like narrowly structured stories, ingenious rhinestones 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.
However, it is not these elements that make a mystery - every mystery - unforgettable. Like bestselling writer Michael Connelly wrote: "The best secrets are the secret of your temper. Let us begin with the basics: What is a secret? The easiest case is a story about the disturbance of the societal order.
There is a felony against society: a man is killed, a bench is mugged, whatever. Our desire is for the perpetrator of the agreement - the murderer, the robber, the extortionist - to be apprehended, so that things in our own life can be put right. Be it a city policeman like Popeye Doyle in the Popeye Doyle scene in the France Association, a slovenly murder 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. Another "turn of the screw" arises when the assassination is investigated by an external operative - the heroes or heroines, the policemen or the detectives - who are resolved to seek out the facts.
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 story are feeling? It is this contexts of distrust and misleading motifs that are crucial in most of the most mysterious or best straight-ahead enthrillers. 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 story 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 the criterions, then the background is the intriguing Washington policy scene.
Its convenient, intimate nature was our car for the introduction to the peculiarities of each of these very special forms of being. 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.
As you get nearer to the heroines of your mystery story, the more lively and captivating they will be for the onlooker. "The next step is to look at the mystery story of yours. 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 story and bring important hints on the way, when the hints come from the historical orbit. Like if the villain uses some kind of ancient gun to perpetrate the felony, I'm much more likely to believe it in a story that takes place behind the scenery of Colonial Williamsburg.
I emphasize the use of a living backdrop and the investing in developing characters for two main purposes. 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.
You can also have everything your heroes needs. 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 story Silver Blaze:
Three things to consider when you write mysteries: 1 ) define the protagonists singularity, 2) use the story's playful environment narratively, and 3) hints (remember, few) that are derived from the particular facets of this work. A last clue to awaken your creative powers in secret writing: is there a little-known fact, a peculiarity of the story or sciences that you have been educated or tripped over and that has always fascinated you?
I still find a way to interweave this hurtful story in the story of shrift. What is in your mind in this mind-rolodex that could be the seed of an notion of a mystery? Perhaps your mom will tell the story of how she was hitting on by a stupid fellow in a pub who then became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Everyone has a story, an event, singular to themselves and to them alone. The only thing an author has to do is to "twist" this story a little - the "what-if" that will inspire all story telling - and create a secret. Biggest secret of all.