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Staying organized while plotting mystery
Lucy Silag
Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013 1:54 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi mystery writers!

 

I've embarked on a little crash course in teaching myself about the mystery genre. The more mysteries I read, both on Book Country and off the site, the more impressed I get with the organizational skills of mystery writers.

 

I was wondering if anyone has any tips--general or very specific--about plotting mystery and making sure all the clues and reveals happen in a way that keeps the reader guessing, but feels satisfying in the end?

 

Lucy

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager


Ayuda Mei Amoir
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 12:38 AM
Joined: 6/4/2013
Posts: 35


hi Lucy, I am making the jump from fantasy to mystery as I have come to realize that I am more interested in writing mysteries as I am more drawn to those book as a reader of many of the latest in the genre. Paranormal Mystery is the subgenre that interests me the most so any tips or hints in the right direction would be of great help.
Lucy Silag
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:34 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Ayuda, that's really interesting that you are finding yourself drawn to another genre. I am still learning a lot about mystery writing and how to stay organized. Basically, I am also learning through reading.

 

I put together this post about the difference between thriller and mystery, which might be helpful to you as you orient yourself to a new genre!

 

And Nevena had an awesome post a few weeks back that illuminated how important it is to figure out what genre you are writing in.

 



Ayuda Mei Amoir
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:19 PM
Joined: 6/4/2013
Posts: 35


Thanks Lucy for the posts. it is only in the past six months that interest in the mystery genre has grown so I am interested to seeing where it leads.
CA_Blandford
Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013 7:14 PM
Joined: 6/25/2013
Posts: 2


I would love if others would respond to this thread as I could use some tips myself! 

 

However, I have found creating lists of all the elements that would (should?) appear in a mystery and filling those in with my own story details help. (BTW, I'm in-between an outliner and "pantser" so I add to my lists and check them against plot as I write and edit.) Lists I make include clues the protagonist has to learn in order to resolve the mystery and how she learns each; red herrings that lead her astray and how she gets back on track; foreshadowing; suspect-characters (including the facts that make them suspicious and how the protagonist decides they are not the killer); etc etc. I also review the manuscript specifically to list out what questions are asked and what answers are given to make sure they make sense and are believable.
I'm not sure if that's as clear as mud, but hopefully someone can find some use from it . . . happy

 



 

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