Mystery Writers

Mystery writers have an advantage 
over mainstream writers. 
Conflict, tension, suspense, and curiosity are 
inherent in the genre.

Writing mystery has another advantage. 
The overall story goal is a given = to solve the mystery. 
Classic character-driven writers are often 
"spoken to by the muse" through the 
character development. 
These writers often struggle with creating 
concrete goals for the character. 
Goal setting for classic 
action-driven writers, on the other hand, is often a breeze.

All mystery writers have one thing in common. 
They write to solve a mystery.

Mysteries have at least three elements:

  1. A mystery -- something to solve. The mystery provides dramatic action.
  2. A culprit, human or otherwise, who acts as a major antagonist.
  3. A protagonist who is out to solve the mystery.

Set up a Plot Consultation!

To read about how two different mystery writers deal with plot, check out the plot interviews with mystery writers Terri Thayer and Penny Warner.

Terri's Stamped Out is the first in the Stamping Sisters mystery series. Stamped Out received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly AND 4 Stars! from the Romantic Times magazine, which also reviews mysteries.

I had the great honor of working with Terri in the book's early development.

Need More?

  • Plot from Beginning to End Workshops and Plot Workshops to develop your Concept, Logline & Pitch as well as revision workshops and more offered by Literary Agent Jill Corcoran and Martha Alderson the Plot Whisperer at A Path to Publishing.
  • Deepen your plot and rejuvinate your writer's spirit, join Jordan Rosenfeld, author of Make a Scene, and Martha Alderson the Plot Whisperer at an upcoming Writer Path Writing Retreat. Be the first to apply NEW material from their forthcoming book from Writer's Digest, Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story, Scene-by-Scene Through Action, Emotion & Theme.

  • Plot Books help you create a dynamic plot, compelling characters, and a meaningful story. Books and ebooks available. In the Consultations section, learn more about one-on-one help with Martha Alderson, also known as the Plot Whisperer and author of Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple and The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can MasterThe Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling StoriesThe Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.

    For additional plot tips:

  • Check out Blockbuster Plots for Writers blog awarded top honors by Writers Digest 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013: Plot Whisperer
  • Visit the vlog Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, or Screenplay? on YouTube.
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