Mysteries & the Way to Write Them

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Mysteries are being published constantly, and being read by millions around the world! The market for this genre is consistent, so readers are always looking for a good “Who Dun’ It” to read.

To begin with, you must center the book around a question readers will want answered.  With a complex question, your plot will have depth and an informative side to allow readers to be engaged with facts.

Avoid cliches at all cost!  Keep your mystery new and interesting.  Write vintage stories, or alternate universes such as a world in which Hitler wins WWII.

Pursuit and solution: these are two essential parts of every mystery.  While your mystery begins to unravel, allow the characters to figure important facts out before the readers.  Leave your audience in the dark, but not for so long that they feel frustrated by the never ending cliff hanger.

For an interesting book, put the hero in such a complicated situation that readers will have to read to understand each aspect of the problem.  You need to come up with such an en-genius story that by the end, readers are amazed with the outcome, but don’t make the outcome too crazy.  Create a jaw dropping climax with intrigue, and then a satisfying resolution in the end.

Mysteries must create fear and cynicism in the audience to allow them to become a detective themselves.  Use imagery to create a mood of suspense and danger through out your story, engaging readers’ and all of their senses.  With this, readers will engage themselves in every situation and follow the subtle clues left hidden in the text to solve the mystery.

Be careful to balance out action and explanation, as this can become difficult.  Don’t explain obvious facts, rather, focus on using dialogue to bring the reader up to date on the investigation. Dialogue can be helpful in renewing the characters understanding of the mystery as well as holding readers at the edge of their seats. Action will be key to making things happen in your mystery.  When events go wrong, that raises more and more questions from the reader and characters.  That is good!

Write your mystery carefully, taking the readers on a wild journey that they will enjoy.  Keep your audience engaged with just enough suspense to keep questions running in their minds till the mystery is solved at the end.  Good luck!

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”  Albert Einstein, The World As I See It                         

James 4:7

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