2 CharactersGood physical descriptions – try to create a mental picture of what characters will look like.The main character is usually the detective of a mystery story. This is the person who will determine which way the plot turns.Minor characters (victims, suspects, witnesses, or assistants) are also important to the success of a story.All characters should be believable and each of their roles should be planned out.M.Russell – Anatomy of a Mystery Notes
3 SettingReaders should feel as if they can close their eyes and picture where the scene is taking place.Try to provide a vivid description of the surroundings in your storyCreate interest by providing an unusual setting for the events of a storyThe setting should have a suspicious feel to it, like a dark character is lurking around a corner
4 Mystery PlotEvery mystery has a problem to solve, like who committed a crime or where something is hiddenYou must provide clues for the reader so he or she can try to solve the problem.You can be tricky and put “red herrings” into your story to throw the reader off trackIt can make your story more interesting if there is more than one suspect.
5 Solution The solution must be believable. The solution must be logical – the clues should make sense by the end of the story.All of the clues must be included in your story – unknown surprises make it impossible for the reader to figure out the solution.
6 Tips for Writing a Mystery Every mystery begins with a problem or mystery to be solved.Ask yourself what if? Try looking for ideas in the things that you read.If you read the newspaper try to think like a detective. Did burglars hit three houses on one street in the middle of the day? How did they know no one would be home? What were the burglars looking for?Your main character is the most important part of your story.The main character will determine which direction the plot will grow. Decide who this person is before you start writing.Choose minor characters who will be in your story.Does your main character have a best friend who will help to sort out the clues?Main characters often need someone’s help to solve mysteries.Minor characters can also be people who are trying to stop the main character from solving the mystery?M.Russell – Mystery Writing Tips
7 Tips for Writing a Mystery The plot of any story is this: The main character has a problem and must solve it by him or herself.What’s the mystery idea you’ve chosen? Is it a crime? Is it something scary? What should your main character discover? And what – or who – is going to get in the way so that the solution is not too easy to solve?Make a list of clues that you can use in your story.There should be one crucial clue that leads that helps the detective finally solve the mysteryThis clue might point directly to the person responsible for the crime or reveal important information about the mysteryThink about “red herrings”Red herrings are bits of information designed to mislead readers by making them suspect the wrong characters
8 Tips for Writing a Mystery Suspense is an important ingredient in a mystery story.Footsteps coming up the stairs in the dark, a doorknob silently turning, a suspect arriving when he’s not expected, an unanswered question about one of the characters – allow your characters to be scared.The setting should fit the mood of the story.Where should your story take place? Should it take place at night? On a foggy morning? During a thunderstorm? Maybe the day is sunny and bright, but your character has to explore a dark place – like a basement or an attic.There should be enough detail for the reader to feel like they can close their eyes and see exactly where the story is taking place.Look for the best place in which to begin your story.- Mystery stories should begin with action, with suspense, with something interesting or exciting happening. Readers should meet the main characters and be introduced to the mystery right at the beginning.
9 Tips for Writing a Mystery Know how your story will end before you begin to write it.Think about the various solutions to your character’s problem.Use the clues as a way to work backwards from the solution – How can your main character figure out the answer to his or her problem?Be creative!- This is your story. Have fun with the characters! Try to write a mystery that you would like to read!