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Tips of writing teen mystery?

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:56 pm
TheCodex says...

I'm working on developing a mystery story idea, most likely a murder mystery (those are the best :D ). It's going to be teen centered, with a fifteen year old main character named Vera Elizabeth Haven (named after the character in the Agatha Christie novel, Ten Little Indians or And then there were none). Her parents are eccentric writers, and her best friend is a half Nepalese, half Indian boy named Tandi.

BUT PAST ALL THAT. Anyone have any tips on writing mystery? It's defiantly one of the harder things to write, in my opinion, since the plot has to be just so complicated.

Thanks for reading, and leave those tips! :smt002
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Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:31 am
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canislupis says...

Well, I can't say I have much experience with mystery, but from reading it, it seems like the hardest thing would be keeping things hidden. Other genres have complicated plots too, and some mysteries are pretty simple; but what makes them good is when you don't know what's true until the end. Christie's the champion of twisting things up--sometimes ALL the suspects are the perps, sometimes the narrator, sometimes the detective.

The hard part is giving the reader the info they need with enough emphasis that its remembered, but not enough that they suspect. But no matter what, you probably won't get that far until several drafts in, so I'd say work on the characters/plot as much as you would any story, and worry about the other stuff later.

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