Is there a formula for writing a mystery novel? There are two ways to approach this question:
Clever writers may try to change the formula, but the most clever will cling to it for a very good reason. They work within the bounds of the formula because it works!
The following outline serves the modern mystery novel, as defined by editors and publishers. A typical story will contain 60, to 65, words manuscript pages and will be divided into 12 chapters, each approximately 17 pages in length.
Disclose the crime and mystery to be solved. The crime must capture the imagination. It should have been committed in an extraordinary way and either the victim the perpetuator, or both, should be unusual.
Give the reader enough information about the victim to make them truly care that the perpetrator is found out and that justice is served. Early in the story, clues should be revealed which suggest both physical and psychological aspects of the initial crime.
Those clues should point to suspects and motive which will cary the sleuth to the end of Act I.
Some clues should point the sleuth in the right direction, others may not be obvious or be recognized as actual clues unto later in the story.
Introduce the sleuth who will solve the crime early, and have him or her do or say something very clever or unexpected which will establish that person as unique. Create this character with care.
His or her personality should be interesting enough to sustain the interest of the reader to the very last page. Let the description unfold gradually to sustain interest.
Do reveal enough background to let the reader understand the world in which the protagonist functions.
Small town sheriff, Scotland Yard detective, Pinkerton agent in the old West, country squire, investigative reporter in New York City, etc.
Ground the reader in the time and place where the crime occurs. It is often useful to include some sort of symbol, an object or a person, in the opening scene which serves as a metaphor for what occurs in the story.
The reappearance of this symbol at the conclusion of the story will create a certain organic unity. Begin with a dramatic event. Some writers offer a prologue, describing the execution of the crime in detail, as it occurs, possible from the point of view of the victim or perpetrators. The same information could also be revealed by a character, through dialogue.
Sufficient details should be furnished to allow the reader to experience the event as though he or she were actually there. Another good opening would be to put the sleuth in a dire situation and allow detail of the crime to unfold in due course.
Set the sleuth on the path toward solving he mystery. Offer plausible suspects, all of whom appear to have had motive, means and opportunity to to commit the crime. Select the most likely suspects, and have the sleuth question them. One of these suspects will turn out to be the actual perpetrator.
At the approximate mid-point of Act 1, something should occur which makes it clear to the reader that the crime is more complicated than originally thought. Hints may be given to allow the reader to actually see possibilities not yet known to the sleuth. The sub-plot should be introduced.
The plot will continue to maintain the progress of the story, but the sub-plot will carry the theme, which is a universal concept to which the reader can identify.Copywriting formulas make it dead-simple to write anything. Read & understand + models for great advertising headlines, tweets, pages, posts & more.
How To Write A Crime Novel Worth Reading. February 17, by Bronwyn Hemus 12 Comments. Image: Matthew Loffhagen. Pin. but the chase is only interesting if the characters are.
I think that a crime novel – like any story – succeeds or fails on the basis of character. hope I get to read a Fiona Ingram murder mystery one day. – Rob. The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot: This is a formula, a master plot, for any word pulp story. It has worked on adventure, detective, western and war-air.
Plotting the Mystery Novel. The classic mystery is popular fiction which follows a specific formula. Clever writers may try to change the formula, but the most clever will cling to it for a very good reason. They work within the bounds of the formula because it works!
The following outline serves the modern mystery novel, as defined by editors and publishers. I have been writing my mystery novel for over 5 years now and finally I’m nearing its end.
my mystery series featuring strong, female protagonist, Logan McKenna. SHATTERED: Logan Book 1 and FOREST PARK: Logan Book 2 are the first two in my character-driven series.
What’s your opinion on using multiple POVs? Susan Spann gives “ Imagine writing with the skill of a published author, the knowledge of a seasoned editor and the savvy of a New York literary timberdesignmag.com'd have all the know-how it takes to transform your story idea into a novel worthy of praise and publication.