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The nuts and bolts of writing Literary Elements in Mystery Writing Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Genre ♫ Type or kind of story ♫ Detective fiction ♫ Police drama ♫ Crime story ♫ True crime Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Setting ♫ Time and place ♫ 1939 Los Angeles ♫ 1960 New York ♫ 2010 Atlanta Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Characters ♫ All must be believable with good and bad qualities. (Your detective could be brave but greedy.) ♫ Phillip Marlowe ♫ Joe Friday ♫ Sam Spade ♫ Johnny Dollar ♫ Peter Gunn Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Beginning, Middle & End ♫ Problem: A singer disappears on the night she’s supposed to star in a show at a nightclub. ♫ Goal: Private detective Sidney Craven is hired by her worried husband to find the singer. ♫ Solution: The detective finds the missing woman and discovers whether she was kidnapped. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Plot ♫ 1. Detective Sidney Craven is called in to find missing singer Lola Candy. ♫ 2. He visits the local nightclub where she was supposed to be singing. ♫ 3. The band members say they haven’t seen her since her audition. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Plot (Part 2) ♫ 4. Sidney questions a rival singer, Sugar Sweets, who has taken Lola’s place in the band. ♫ 5. When Sugar seems nervous and jittery, he wonders if she’s involved in Lola’s disappearance. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Plot (Part 3) Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge ♫ 6. Sidney waits in his car outside the nightclub during a lightning storm. ♫ 7. He follows Sugar home, almost losing her car in the heavy downpour. ♫ 8. Peeking through the window at Sugar’s house, he sees her talking to Lola.
Plot (Part 4) ♫ 9. Drenched from the rainfall, Sidney confronts the two singers and learns that Lola is hiding out because of a bad case of stage fright. ♫ 10. Sidney phones Lola’s husband to let him know she’s safe. ♫ 11. When the local newspaper learns about the missing singer, it runs the story on the front page. ♫ 12. A record producer signs Lola to a contract and she makes a hit album. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
♫ Sidney eased his battered Plymouth to the curb outside the nightclub and stepped out into the pouring rain. ♫ He pulled down the wide brim of his hat in a useless effort to stay dry as he splashed through deep puddles. ♫ The club’s neon sign flickered on and off like a beacon of hope in a world of despair: Style (a writers unique choice of words) Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Style (Part 2) ♫ As Sidney entered the club, the trumpet player was hitting a high note that blasted the detective like a tidal wave. ♫ After a quick look around the dark club, Sidney found a seat at a table near the band. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Dialogue ♫ “When was the last time you saw Lola?” Sidney asked Sugar. The band had taken a break and the two were sitting at a table in the club. ♫ “I haven’t seen Lola since we both auditioned two days ago,” Sugar said as she nervously drummed her fingers on the table. ♫ “She got the job and you didn’t.” ♫ “But now that Lola disappeared, I’m the new singer.” When she smiled, her gold tooth sparkled like a headlight. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge
Literary Elements in Fiction Writing Literary elements are the nuts and bolts of writing, the things every story has in common. Copyright © 2010 by Gamehinge.
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