Monday, April 22, 2013

Mystery Writes

When it comes to mystery I think about great plots that leave the reader guessing to the end. This is in fact hard to do. I never outline so I never know what's going to happen until I write it. It's important to always leave a cast of characters that all look guilty to a point. I'm careful not to make them look too guilty, otherwise I have no room to wiggle. 

Red Herring: it's good to have one and it's good to kill one. You must make someone look dreadfully guilty and then turn it all around. It's a struggle because in my latest sequel it looks too clear cut. It's my job as a writer to mold that into what will be a tighter plot. More possible suspects and more possible plot points. For instance in Armed and Outrageous, Agnes Barton and Sheriff Peterson don't get along at all. She wonders why he isn't taking the disappearance of a tourist seriously, but does that make him guilty of a crime, no. It makes for an interesting subplot.

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