As you build your mystery chapter-by-chapter be prepared for characters arrive with unexpected actions. Evaluate these actions in relation to the chapter and to the story vision. Trust the process.
Character context defines their role in the story. Use context as your primary guideline as you create a character background.
Who Is Talking? How your characters speak reveals their personality. Especially in mysteries, characters reveal their character, even when they try to hide it. The challenge for writers is to make the language each character uses, appropriate to that character and distinct from other characters in the story. That way, readers understand who is talking.Dialogue is a verbal action. When a character speaks, they are actively moving the story forward. When the language, rhythm, a […]
Character Dimensionality Mystery is all about puzzle. Deeper characters provide more puzzling challenges to your sleuth. Your sleuth is challengedby the obstacles the other characters throw his way. One of the best ways to create a puzzle for your sleuth is to give each character a secret and a lie. Or more than one. Secrets […]
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash Body Details to Improve Your Story Most writers don’t think of anatomy and physiology when they are creating a story, but you can enhance reader engagement with body part details. If you find your characters all nodding in agreement or sighing in resignation, try expanding your view of the […]
Why Casting Your Characters Helps Your Mystery To make your character function in your story world, you need to create details that set each one apart from the others. While the most important feature of your character in the story is the context, how they serve the story, help your readers identify each character with […]
A Scene is a Revelation A story is a sequence of small moments. The first moment is make or break for getting your reader involved. Writing advice for beginning novelists can be confusing, like to start with a hook or show the hero’s everyday world. It’s easy to go way off track by starting with […]
The Hidden Backstory of a Mystery The villain and the victim are star characters in your mystery. As the story unfolds for the reader the focus is on your sleuth, but the relationship of these supporting characters are the crux of the resolution. In a traditional mystery the puzzle pieces the sleuth uncovers are based on […]
Discovery and Your Sleuth Once a crime is discovered and your sleuth takes on finding the killer, his next step is to unearth possible suspects. As he visits close friends, work colleagues, the coffee shop owner where the victim went each morning, your sleuth begins to create a picture of the victim’s world. The picture your sleuth […]
Photo by SHUJA ZED on Unsplash Create Awesome Suspects to Delight Your Readers Mystery readers love to be tantalized. The clues, red herrings, and evidence you plant in your story lead them to guessing while your sleuth tries to reason out the possibilities. Your suspects weave the rich tapestry that keeps readers guessing. I recently […]