Let's Write One-of-a-kind Stories! discussion

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The Elements of Good Stories > How to plot a Mystery Novel!

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Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) Hiya! Who doesn't love a good mind-boggling mystery story? Of course, Mystery Manias like me can't resist writing one of my own!
Which brings me to the question... How do you plot one?? Here I will tell you all about my process of writing a mysterious mystery!


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) Of course, first of all you have to read a whole lot of mystery to get inspiration. Personally, I recommend Agatha Christie's works, like Three little pigs, The ABC murders, Death on the Nile, and A Mysterious Affair at Styles. It'll give you an idea of what you need to do and what kind of a mystery you would like to write.
I don't, however, recommend Arthur Conan Doyle's works. His stories are very intriguing, but vague and sometimes there are massive errors. Like the fact that he thinks a murderer can use a whistle to summon a snake. Sorry, mate, snakes don't have ears!


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) So the first step is to get an idea. Some little point that could blossom into a whole story. Like, you think "I want to write a story about a cat's ghost who murdered their owner's husband."
Then you can start thinking about the settings like with any other book - the time, the place, etc - and you can think about how the murder is done.


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) This part is more difficult, because a mystery is full of clues that must be solved at the very end, so you can't start thinking from the beginning - you must start from the simple murder itself, then build clues on top of it to hide it!


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) For example, with our cat ghost story, we can say the cat murdered the husband by trying a leash around his neck and strangling him (sorry if I'm being morbid!).


message 6: by Smiley (new)

Smiley | 5 comments Interesting! I'm currently trying to write one but I find it hard to divert the attentions and clues from the real suspect! It seems quite obvious in my story.


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) Smiley wrote: "Interesting! I'm currently trying to write one but I find it hard to divert the attentions and clues from the real suspect! It seems quite obvious in my story."

If you want to, I can read it through for you! Only if you would like to, of course, but feel free to ask :)


message 8: by Smiley (new)

Smiley | 5 comments Hello! I've been starting another murder story (the last one turns out...meh), and now I'm pretty worried about how unrealistic it is.
I'm hoping to do it in a real life setting (time October 2002) with the protagonists being a team of police inspectors, but now I'm stuck on how long do police start getting evidence from a case? How long do DNA and evidence tests take? How long does it take to solve a case? And do they just go interviewing everyone or it there any undercover work?

Are there online resources or crime novels that you find really useful? Thanks so much!


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) Smiley wrote: "Hello! I've been starting another murder story (the last one turns out...meh), and now I'm pretty worried about how unrealistic it is.
I'm hoping to do it in a real life setting (time October 2002..."


Hiya! I think I could answer a couple of your questions! Usually police don't run DNA tests unless someone requests it. They would ask people to try and identify the body, unless it's... um... unidentifiable or *broken.* Generally I think the tests take a few days or a week or so depending on how urgent the police are and how complete the evidence is. As to how long it takes to solve cases, it could take years - or never! Sometimes there just aren't enough evidence. They might capture, release, trial, recapture to no end.
I'm not sure about undercover work. I think it depends on the situation. If it's the death of a Prime Minister, you can be sure there is undercover work! Hope this helps :)


message 10: by Smiley (new)

Smiley | 5 comments Thanks so much!


Amanda Artist Cat (amandawholovesbooks) Smiley wrote: "Thanks so much!"

Anytime =D


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