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14
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
348 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
226 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
votes
1answer
575 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
123 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
122 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
494 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
287 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
183 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?
0
votes
4answers
104 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
votes
1answer
31 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
-2
votes
1answer
71 views

How do you give the murderer away?

'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 ...