I've been delving a lot into the the crime investigation genre, and at first I thought "Simple, just start of with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How and you've got yourself a story!" but I quickly realized it's much more complicated than that.
A crime solving story has Leads, it has Witnesses, it has Clues, it has Unexpected Discoveries... and I'm just lost in a sea of possibilities...
So I've tried to reduce the basic structure of a story to this:
- There is a protagonist who tries to find out the "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How" of the case
- There are Clues which may or may not go somewhere, and must be interpreted by the protagonist to have any meaning.
- There are Witnessess who serve both to bring light to the case or muddle it further.
- There are Misdirections normally due to simple human nature that can cause someone to seem guilty.
- There are Leads which are advancements in the plot as the protagonist makes sense of everything else
- And there are Culprits which are responsible for whatever the protagonist is investigating.
So my question is... am I leaving anything out? Is there some fundamental aspect to an investigation I'm forgetting? Bear in mind I consider Plot Twists to simply be a form of Misdirection.