Friday, October 30, 2009

The Marvellous Mystery

I've never written a mystery before.

I had no idea. No idea it could be so much FUN to PLOT! And OUTLINE! The MADNESS!

I knew I wanted to write this book, and it appeared to be a mystery. I'd read many a mystery in my Middle Grade (and after) days, back when you know, they didn't involve dead people. I don't like the dead people bit. But when I realized that the book I had in my head (PDS) was actually...a mystery, I was tickled.

And paranoid.

How *does* one go about writing a mystery?

They're an entirely different beast, to be sure. One with so many things that have to come together right, but not too right too right away, or everyone could see the bad guy.

I love to write about the bad guys getting it and the good guys winning. I like that.

Anyway, I got to lookin' for definite things, and found many excellent links that broke some down for me. I also got to thinking about those mystery books I loved so much when I was a kid. The THRILL of figuring it out! Leafing back through the pages when I was finished to see if I could find clues that might not have been there in black and white, but sneaky!

And OH, some of those books were tricksy! So now, with clues, and red herrings, and subliminal hints, and plot points, and super-fun naming of characters and EVERYTHING in my head, I'm almost ready to go. (!!!)

But guess what. I'll be working off an OUTLINE. An OUTLINE! I know, right? For a pantser this is rather a horrible thought, but I do believe it's necessary. All these clues, all these subliminal hints, these red herrings and that one VERY tricksy villain are gonna keep me on my toes! Did you read mysteries as a kid? Any particularly tick you off, or really get you going?

And a very Happy Hallowe'en, all!


  1. I wrote my first. It was a different experience. I suppose I should have read more to have the feel but it was like a big Nancy Drew flashback to me. Fun.

  2. I loved the Hardy Boys series when I was young. Even though I knew the ending, I think I read a few of them a number of times.

    I've always enjoyed a good mystery/thriller, and that's what I write now.

    For some reason, I don't have to write detailed outlines. I let the clues appear organically as I write, and sometimes subtle clues will allow me to take the story in an even more interesting direction.

    There have been times where this has taken me down a rat hole, and I've had to trash quite a few pages, but for the most part, it works.

  3. Sounds cool. I will look forward to hearing more about it.


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