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Mystery or Thriller
hmjmdeleon
Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 8:08 AM
Joined: 3/13/2014
Posts: 27


I'm curious to know what people think the difference between Mystery and Thriller. I think there are elements of both in the other. I have a manuscript in Thriller which could also be Mystery (I think). It's about a kidnapping so there is some detective work in it but the main plot deals with what the victims are going through as well.
Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 9:29 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi @hmjmdeleon,

 

I did some research on this very subject last fall because I wasn't sure what the difference was, either. Here's what I came up with after doing some reading in both genres and talking to colleagues.

 

Curious to hear other members' thoughts as well!

 

Lucy Silag

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager


hmjmdeleon
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:53 PM
Joined: 3/13/2014
Posts: 27


thanks, I'll check that out
D J Lutz
Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014 5:36 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 130


Lucy's post, with the link, is especially good. For me, the short version is this: a mystery involves a crime that has already happened. A thriller involves a crime that will soon happen. Either catch the bad guys (mystery) or stop the bad guys (thriller.) They're both fun to write! With a kidnapping, you could frame it as a mystery (the victim had been kidnapped and is now either released or deceased and you need to find the bad guys; or you could bend it toward thriller, as in the kidnapping has happened, but the bad guys are intent on doing something else (hurt the victim, steal the money, etc.) Sometimes I just let the story write itself and then see what I have.

--edited by D J Lutz on 5/1/2014, 5:39 AM--


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014 11:31 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Why thank you, DJ!

 

Your description is excellent! You said in 3 sentences what took me ~1000 words to sum up!

 

 


Thomtom
Posted: Friday, August 28, 2015 9:38 AM
D J Lutz wrote:
Lucy's post, with the link, is especially good. For me, the short version is this: a mystery involves a crime that has already happened. A thriller involves a crime that will soon happen. Either catch the bad guys (mystery) or stop the bad guys (thriller.) They're both fun to write! With a kidnapping, you could frame it as a mystery (the victim had been kidnapped and is now either released or deceased and you need to find the bad guys; or you could bend it toward thriller, as in the kidnapping has happened, but the bad guys are intent on doing something else (hurt the victim, steal the money, etc.) Sometimes I just let the story write itself and then see what I have.
 

 

 

 

 

DJ, your last line - let the story write itself and then see what I have - sums up my entire 'system' in one concise sentence! Worry about genre/placement, etc when the story is set on the page, or screen, is great advice for most, if not all, writers.


 

--edited by Thomtom on 8/28/2015, 9:40 AM--