Elizabeth: It’s a Mystery


Kay recently posted her thoughts about murder mysteries as a genre and included some tips from writer Dana Stabenow.  That post was very timely because I am in the midst of writing a mystery of my own.

I’ve been a fan of mysteries for almost as long as I’ve been a reader.  Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Judy Bolton were just some of the crime-solvers populating my early bookshelves. They were later followed by Sherlock Holmes, Roderick Allyen, Armand Gamache, and a host of others.

Although my early mystery reading featured amateur sleuths, I’ve found over time that I’ve lost interest in the “I just stumbled on a crime and am going to solve it” stories—especially when they involve people getting in the way of the police or putting themselves in danger from dumb decisions.  I also avoid the “thriller” end of the spectrum. I want to be entertained when I read mysteries, but I don’t want to be put through the emotional wringer along the way.

My current mystery WIP can best be described as a tangled mess.  It was triggered from a set of our Friday Writing Sprint Random Words, which means some things developed in a rather arbitrary way, based on the words that were incorporated.  I had a clear idea about how the story would unfold, who the suspect was, and how the crime was committed from the start, but then . . . I managed to completely write myself into a corner. 

Cue the re-write! Continue reading