How to write a murder mystery

Usually, the death of a character at the hands of another comes at the emotional climax of a story. Even some painfully misunderstood villains can choke us up a little when they finally meet their demise. As the catalyst for the whole mystery, they matter a lot.

How to write a murder mystery

How to Write a Mystery - Types of Novels

The best murder mysteries blend the feeling of a great read with the feeling of playing a game. For all the variety murder mysteries offer, there are a few cast iron conditions that authors need to respect.

The best of which is… Plot backwards Of course, the easiest way to ensure your mystery works is to begin with the solution and work backwards. Now you know how the clues might link together.

I always know the end of the mystery before I begin to write. Tension should he held within the novel and there should be no longuers of boring interrogation.

By deciding on the conclusion first, you flip this, so that the little details are written to fit the most important part of the story. Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. The first page sells that book.

Realization not revelation The key to a great murder mystery is the belief that a sufficiently diligent reader could solve the case.

Every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective. The answer to the mystery needs to feel like realization, not revelation. Click To Tweet One method which can help you to avoid a revelatory ending is having your detective arrive at the answer through logic accessible to the reader.

Chesterton, codified this in their oath: Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them and not placing reliance on nor making use of Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery-Pokery, Coincidence, or Act of God?

In a murder mystery these story details usually take the form of clues. The importance of clues Making your conclusion a realization depends on making clues feel apparent in retrospect. This can be done through foreshadowing, where the author drops subtle clues about future events in a seemingly innocuous way.

Distract your reader as you scatter clues to prevent them figuring things out too soon. The more innocuous the reference the better; relevant clues can even be hidden in longer descriptions packed with details, all you need to do is make sure that when the detective establishes a detail was relevant, the reader understands that this is a detail they were aware of, however briefly.

The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described. Van Dine, Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories Rule 1 This is also the case for the murderer or murdererswho should generally be introduced to the reader within the first third of the book.

To paraphrase a theatrical observation made by Anton Chekhov, if a gun is shown to the audience in the first act, it better be fired by someone in the third act.Sep 11,  · How to Write a Mystery Story. In this Article: Article Summary Preparing to Write Developing Your Main Character and Outlining the Story Writing the Story Mystery Story Help Community Q&A.

A good mystery story will have fascinating characters, exciting suspense, and a puzzle that keeps you turning the pages%(). A murder mystery victim’s death, however, is one that isn’t just expected by the reader, but welcomed with gleeful palm-rubbing and a devilish chuckle.

How to Write a Mystery

To a murder mystery lover, the sight of a dead body means ‘curtain up’ on the story. This is essential to learning how to write a mystery novel. Some mystery writers I personally like are Sue Grafton, P.D. James, Raymond Chandler, and Agatha Christie.

Books that win the Edgar Award for mystery-writing are usually very good. The difficulty, the sheer, agonizing torture, of writing a murder mystery is telling a good story while, at the same time, constructing a challenging puzzle.

The story is far more important than the puzzle—the book should be driven by character conflict, not the need to reveal clues. Harry Potter Mystery Dinner: This murder mystery script is for all the Harry Potter fans out there.


Download the free script, character cards, evidence documents, memos, and directions all for free. Download the free script, character cards, evidence documents, memos, and directions all for free.

If you want to put on a murder mystery show, you must start with a script. It's a breeze if you follow these simple steps. A murder mystery script is one part script and three parts improv. The basic ingredients are: someone must die. Somebody else must kill that person. Multiple people must have motives.

How to write a murder mystery
How to Write a Mystery Story (with Examples) - wikiHow