Genre Writer Series #1
Solving the Mystery of the Mystery
How do you write a cozy murder mystery that readers will love? You need to include all of the things they expect to find in their favourite genre:
- A murderer and a victim
- An investigator – either a Great Detective in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes; a Spinster Sleuth like Miss Marple; or a feisty amateur sleuth for a Modern Cozy Mystery.
- A closed setting with a small circle of suspects
- A ‘Watson’ to assist (or hamper!) the sleuth
- An investigation that explores Means, Motive, Opportunity and Alibis
- Clues to what really happened and red herrings that muddy the waters
- A plot that puts all of these things together in the proper sequence
Here you will find techniques and tools for creating all of these ingredients, along with detailed breakdowns of the three plot structures most often used for whodunits: the Act I Murder, the Midpoint Murder, and the Most-Likely Suspect (or Innocent Accused) story.
You will also find out how locked room or ‘impossible’ mysteries are created and how ‘inverted mysteries’ differ from the usual kind. As a bonus, there is a detailed analysis of how these guidelines were used to develop, plot out, and write a full-length murder mystery novel – from original idea to final edit.