1. gabriellockhart
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    gabriellockhart Member

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    Writing a mystery?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by gabriellockhart, May 2, 2010.

    The other day i felt inspired to write some mystery fiction.

    Trouble is have no idea of how to go about writing it? i have read few crime thriller type things i got from the local library, but they are proving little insight in how to go about writing a mystery.

    Any one got any pointers?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ChrisGallagher
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    ChrisGallagher Member

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    Number one tip - Write what you know.

    If you don't understand what you're writing, your reader won't either. If you want to write mystery, read mystery. Learn the tricks of the trade. See what way the other writer's do it. Trust me, it helps.

    Then delve head first into your plot, then start writing.

    If you want a good mystery writer to read, try Henning Mankell and the Wallander series.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    preceding that 'number one tip':

    read a LOT of mysteries by the best mystery writers, if you want to learn how to write one!... 'few' ain't gonna cut it...
     
  4. Cyricist
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    Cyricist New Member

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    I would start with fleshing out the mystery, then the characters, then the clues, then the plot, but everyone go about things differently.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well-thought out plotting, and research is particularly important for thriller/mystery writing, IMO.
     
  6. gabriellockhart
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    gabriellockhart Member

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    thank's y'all.
     
  7. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    There are books on the topic.

    One that I found helpful was "How to Write a Damn Good Mystery" by James Frey.

    As other posters pointed out, you will want to read a number of mysteries. "Read what you write" is good advice.

    Good luck!
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've not tried it myself, but apparently Agatha Christie used to write stories that involved murders but with no idea who the culprit was -- she would concentrate on making a good story. When she had finished, she would decide who the least likely culprit was, then go back and revise the story to make it consistent with that -- plant a few clues, make it possible for them to have done it, and so on. That way the focus was on a good story, and because the revisions were subtle the denouement was hard to guess.

    If it doesn't work, at least you should still have a good story!
     
  9. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Before you even begin to think about who-dunnit, you must first figure out what-dun. Then comes the who-dunnit and the Y-dunit and the where-dun. (Isn't that a place in France? ;) )

    If you don't know what's going on, no one else will either. Mysteries, almost more than any other genre, require some pretty precise plotting beforehand. Start with the old newsroom mantra - Who What When Where Why & How. Set those down before you go any further. Once you get that solidified, it will be much easier to move through the 'stuff' to flesh out the story you have just written!
     

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