Ah, Sweet Mystery…

The writers I admire most are those who write mysteries. Cozy mysteries,  thrillers, historical — you name it.

I guess it’s because I am a pantser.  I create a character and send her in search of a plot.  Only when I am halfway into the story do I sit down and try to figure out where I’m going with it.

You are correct in that it doesn’t always work.  In the best case scenario, it takes a lot of rewriting and revision to end up with a story that flows from beginning to end.

But that’s how I do it. If I sat down and plotted the entire novel before I began writing, I would lose interest and it would never get written.

A writer of mysteries has to be a big-time plotter. She needs to know who the killer is before she starts, and then work in clues throughout the story that lead to the climax.  It’s like working backward.

If she does it right, the reader can say at the end, “Aha! I should have seen that coming.” Because you don’t want the killer to come out of nowhere like the Greek deus ex machina. There has to be a logical solution.

The mystery that did this the best was “The Sixth Sense.” My husband and I went back to see it a second time just so we could pick out the clues we missed the first time.

So a big hand to all the mystery writers who keep us guessing — and keep us reading.

Good job!



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