How To Write A Murderously Good Mystery

March 1, 2014
In The Guilty Vicarage Auden--a self-confessed addict of murder mysteries--talks about what elements go into creating a great, wonderfully escapist, murder mystery. In this article I concentrate on the overall structure of a whodunit.

March 7, 2014
In this article I discuss the role of setting, or milieu, in writing a murderously good mystery. Among other things, I talk about the importance of a closed society in writing a cosy and discuss how to select a setting that maximizes the wrongness of murder as well as the tension murder creates.

March 21, 2014
What qualities should a victim have? In this article I'll take a look at what W.H. Auden had to say about the subject; namely, that all the characters should have a reason to kill the victim and, paradoxically, most of the characters should be a little sorry he (or she) is dead. In addition we'll look at sympathetic vs unsympathetic characters as well as the qualities subsequent victims might have.

How To Create A Murderer Your Readers Will Love To Hate
April 7, 2014
W.H. Auden writes in The Guilty Vicarage that the test of a good detective story is twofold: a) The reader must be surprised when the sleuth reveals the identity of the murderer and b) The reader must believe that "everything he has previously been told about the murderer is consistent with his being a murderer."

An excellent test! Also, it highlights an important point: a murder mystery is primarily about the murderer. Not the sleuth, not the sidekick, not even the victims. After all, it is the murderer's desire, his goal, that drove him to kill. Given this what qualities should the murderer have? How can we get our readers to love to hate him or her?

How To Create A Sleuth Your Readers Will Root For (Upcoming)

Other articles on how to write a mystery:


May 23, 2014

May 21, 2014

How To Write Like Agatha Christie: Motifs
April 3, 2014

Agatha Christie's Secret: Break The Rules
March 26, 2014

How To Write Like Agatha Christie
March 25, 2014

How To Write A Murder Mystery: Part Two
October 20, 2013

How To Write A Murder Mystery
October 18, 2013

Creating The Perfect Murderer
May 1, 2013

5 Rules For Writing A Murder Mystery: Keeping the Murderer Secret Until The End
April 16, 2013

From other bloggers:


How To Write A Murder Mystery, by Lee Goldberg.
May 2014

5 Tips to Create a Page-Turning Plot, by Elizabeth Spann Craig.
January, 21, 2013

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