Questions tagged [mystery]

Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!

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3
votes
1answer
70 views

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync with the main plot by a few days?

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync in front of the main plot by a couple of days and hide that fact from the reader until near the end, where it then becomes synced with the main plot? ...
0
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3answers
87 views

Why would a someone desecrate a pharaoh's tomb? [closed]

I'm trying to find a believable reason for someone to open a clearly cursed tomb for my short story. I'm finding myself between the silly-but-different and believable-but-boring spectrum. For example, ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

What is the ideal word count when shopping a mystery novel to agents?

I know for certain genres, agents and publishers will only consider manuscripts that fit within their expected page count ranges. What's a good target for a standalone mystery novel? My current draft ...
4
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3answers
255 views

Do scenes, sequels, and MRUs apply to mystery novels?

I'm in the process of writing a mystery novel/novella and it conforms to the traditional/classic mystery novel, emulating that of Agatha Christie or A.C. Doyle. I'm having doubts as to the proper way ...
4
votes
3answers
175 views

Are major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story distracting or do they make a story more appealing?

Is it too distracting to include a major mystery subplot(s) in a fantasy story? I mean a complete subplot or subplots that the character solves. Perhaps the examples below do not qualify as mystery ...
3
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4answers
179 views

Female Detective [closed]

I want to write a female detective murder mystery. I have 15 characters; 14 women and 1 man. I want the male to be the secretary for the, Cavalcade Detective Agency. He is well educated, charming, and ...
8
votes
3answers
169 views

Can a mystery novel have more than one mystery in it? And does it have to be a “who dunnit” concept?

I am writing a novel and it goes something like this: In the first half of the novel, the protagonist knows who is doing the killing, but they are trying to make sense of it as in "how are they doing ...
10
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14answers
4k views

The role of inexplicable events in hard science fiction

The modern world has few true mysteries, among them the fate of the Roanoke colonists and the crew of the Mary Celeste but do such happenings have a place in futuristic settings? In settings with ...
7
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2answers
159 views

In a branching mystery, should branches be “self-correcting” or follow the impulse of the reader?

A mystery with 3 subplots I'm writing a branching mystery novel. It's more Raymond Chandler than Agatha Christie: the mystery is a driver-of-plot rather than a puzzle for the reader to solve. ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

I want to know if this opening is appropriate for my story or if this is confusing? [closed]

Night, when words fade and things come alive. The leaves murmured as the cool winter breeze gushed through them, Grime Street was illuminated by an old lamp that flared to follow the light. Unsure ...
4
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6answers
363 views

How to make the murder's identity less obvious, or make the obviousness not matter?

I'm writing a short story following the first person perspective of the MC, who is a young, male writer of horror stories. He goes on a cruise with his girlfriend and their friends, and, ...
1
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2answers
115 views

I’m considering adding a flashback to my script. Are they so bad?

I know that some people say flashbacks are to be frowned upon. But I’m in a situation where I feel a flashback could maybe be more effective. It’s a crime/drama/mystery. Basically, Greg has gone ...
12
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8answers
1k views

Should mystery stories have resolutions?

I'm working on the finishing touches of a story that has as part of the plot a possibly-supernatural mystery. I'm feeling rather nervous about the whole thing though because said mystery isn't the ...
-1
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1answer
158 views

Writing a compelling murder mystery [closed]

Just like the topic says. How do I make it so that the identity of the 'murderer' isn't a dead give-away?
9
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5answers
11k views

What is the difference between Tension, Suspense and Mystery?

Can you define the differences between Tension, Suspense and Mystery in fiction writing? Some resources says tension is how much you care about a character but I cannot imagine how it is possible ...
5
votes
1answer
567 views

Creating clues for a mystery subplot

I am working on a story in which the characters must solve a mystery. It's a "team-building exercise" at school, in which they must work together. They are graded on how well they work together and ...
16
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6answers
3k views

Why aren't detective stories written in the protagonist's POV?

I've noticed that successful detective stories are, nearly always, not written in the point of view of the detective himself. The protagonist (i.e. the ingenious detective at the heart of the story) ...
3
votes
4answers
135 views

Introducing a plot-critical hallucinogen partway through a mystery?

This is a sort of act related question. I have an important drug that causes the protagonist to encounter people and things he normally wouldn't, and it is the foundation of a convoluted plan by the ...
6
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4answers
10k views

Help! I accidentally gave my fictional character the same name as a fictional character on a TV show. Do I have to change it?

I've been writing a YA mystery book in which one of the three main characters is a detective—who now seems to share his name with another fictional character on TV. I was pretty young when I came up ...
-2
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1answer
125 views

How do you give the murderer away? [closed]

'There once was a popular soap opera staged in the southern, modern capital of Imaso in Europe. It had run for 50 years and over time produced new characters; some viewers liked them, but other ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

How to hide something in plain sight (and keep it hidden)?

I’d like to include in a story “mysteries” and deceptions that (ideally) should be obvious in hindsight (By obvious, I mean "elephant in the room" kind of obvious). How to give to the reader every ...
6
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6answers
431 views

Is it possible to write about failed detective novel?

All detective novel ends with the killer caught, right? Is it possible to write a completely bad ending detective novel? Imagine the Titanic of Sherlock Holmes, or is it done yet? By Titanic I mean ...
-1
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1answer
46 views

how much pages do i have for a paperback book [duplicate]

I'm making a book and I already wrote 54,099 and 278,889 characters how much pages do I have for a paper back or hard back book
5
votes
3answers
899 views

How to make a dumb decision as a character and still not let the reader to think same about him?

My character is a police detective. But not the best one. I'm trying to stay away from idealizations in this book. Characters will make normal, human, mistakes; they'll change their minds and be more ...
5
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5answers
337 views

Is trying to write an entire novel in one month possible?

Lately I've been thinking about trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where the idea (at least I think it is) to write an entire novel in one month. Is this even possible?
4
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4answers
257 views

Should my query lead with the detective, or with the crime?

In a lot of detective or mystery novels, the detective is the POV character and the protagonist, but the initial hook has little to do with him. Some crime has been committed, and the detective is ...
3
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2answers
234 views

Hiding information

I have often noticed this in many books and movies (mostly mysteries) that information is kept hidden from the reader. Like the character goes to some place and returns but what happens in between ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Is Sherlock Holmes public domain for use in a story?

I am writing a short story and would like to name check Sherlock Holmes as a character; according to the ever reliable (?) Wikipedia the stories of Holmes are UK Public Domain. Does this mean I can ...
7
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3answers
1k views

How can I keep my characters' identities a mystery successfully?

There was a similar post about keeping a character nameless in order to contribute to his closed off personality. My concern is is keeping all my characters nameless, only describing their actions (...
5
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2answers
144 views

Logical conclusions of deduction

If my character had seen all that he had seen, is it possible that a person of sufficient intellect could draw the conclusions that he has, or am I just handing him answers and giving him "magic ...
6
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3answers
618 views

Should the secret antagonist have dual goals set in the ending of Act I?

Okay, There's this antagonist in my plot who is supposed to secretly frame my protagonist (due to some undecided reasons) and also help him publicly to cover his tracks. And since I'm working with the ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Preventing genre-savvy second-guessing in murder mysteries

In a murder mystery, most of the story is generally focused on figuring out who the murderer is; in "Fair-Play" mysteries, it's assumed the murderer is a significant character in the book, and the fun ...
19
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9answers
6k views

Resources on plotting mystery stories

I'm looking for books, essays and articles on plotting mystery/detective/investigation stories (and novels). The type of story I'm aiming for is in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, or ...